Fall is here.
The leaves are showing their colors, and if the rain and wind don’t take them down, we should see some spectacular sights this year.
It’s sometimes easy for us to take this beautiful place where we live for granted. But, this week take some time to notice.
Here are some ideas for sharing the beauty of fall with your family:
• Go for a walk and collect colorful leaves.
Take them home and press them, put the leaves between pieces of newspaper, then set a stack of big heavy books on top of them (or put the leaves between the pages of an old telephone book).
After they have dried, the leaves can be used in various craft projects and fall arrangements.
• Keep a visual record of this fall’s color change.
Take a photograph of a view of the mountains, or a specific tree in your yard. Take a picture of that same scene, from the same place, at the same time each day over a couple of weeks. Observe the changes that take place.
Print your photographs and put them in a special scrapbook. This might be an interesting activity to continue through the year, maybe on a less frequent basis, to record through the seasons.
• Make leaf print T-shirts, decorated cloth napkins or note cards. Use paint appropriate for the project you choose.
With a paintbrush, paint the back of a leaf, carefully press it onto the fabric, then remove it. Voila, you now have a lovely print of a leaf. After the paint dries, iron the material to help set the design.
• Create a mobile out of beautiful fall leaves.
Collect brightly colored leaves and press flat. The leaves do not need to be completely dry for this project. Encase the leaf between two sheets of clear contact paper and cut out around the outline of the leaf. Be sure not to cut too close, as you want the contact paper to stay stuck.
Use a sewing needle to make a small hole in the top of your leaf ornament and create a hanger using thread. Make a mobile by hanging your leaves from a dry tree branch or fashion a wire coat hanger into a mobile frame.
Hang it near a window where the light can catch the color of the leaves.
Enjoy some time with your family this fall.
Heather Gordon is an extension agent for 4-H youth development.