Seasonal inspiration: autumn

The final ‘episode’ of the blog posts on taking inspiration from the individual seasons comes. Let’s see what the autumn can do!

Autumn can invoke sad felings for many. During this season, weather shifts from the warm days of summer towards the dark days of winter. Some parts of this transitions can be pleasant or inspiring, some… not so much.

The way I see it where I live, autumn has pretty much two parts: the first half is full of color while taking what remains from summer – and is great for creativity. The other half is often rainy and gloomy, and is more fit for introspective.

All the colors…

Forest in autumn
Autumn in the mountains (2015)

The leaves turning into a palette of yellow, orange, and red can be a source of inspiration and creativity. Yet, they are also a sign that the warm and bright days are almost over. These days are what can let children have some fun – such as turning the colorful leaves into a collage using their imagination.

Apple tree

Yet, the early autumn will make the other senses busy as well, if you let it.

It’s also the time when the last fruits are stashed into cellars – or used for home-made juice (yum!). The days tend to be more wet, through morning mist and more frequent rain showers – the conditions many species of edible fungi favor. Those can be used in cooking and have their own typical scents.

Mushroom

Walking through a forest in the autumn is different – the scents of dampness, decaying leaves, and fungi create different atmosphere than the other seasons.

Autumn in the mountains (2016)

…and then none of them.

Eventually, the days became darker, often with rain or snow. Mist will became more frequent and so might be the gloomy thoughts. This might again tie into cultural aspects – there’s a reason why these gloomy days are the time of traditions like Day of the Dead. If there’s a time for rememberance, it’s the late autumn with its somber atmosphere.

And those days are also the moments when you can let a character’s darker side resurface. Regrets, doubts, memories of past mistakes – all of those can easily make the way to the front of one’s mind when they are sitting home, watching as the rain drenches the land, the forests dark with treest stripped of leaves and the fields long harvested.

The muddy days of late autumn might be a reason for a ceasefire (as it’s obvious the weather will be only worse form now on), especially in a setting without modern technology.

Eventually, the first snow might cover the land (again, depending on setting/location), which is often short-lived and only contributes to the darker atmosphere – far from summer but not winter yet, as if it had the worst of both and the best of neither. And those emotions are something that gives a chance to show the darker sides of a character – uncertainty, doubts, fears,…


With the other three seasons – winter, spring, and summer – covered in the previous posts, this mini-series is over. I hope it might’ve been a source of inspiration or just a different look for some. I’ll also welcome your opinions and experiences because there are bound to be more ways to show some seasonal spirit than what I mentioned.

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