In some parts of the country, it comes earlier than others, but September 23rd  is the first day of fall!   The northern states are already feeling cooler temperatures and seeing the changing of  colors.  It takes a little longer for those of us in the southern states; however, the early mornings are beginning to feel somewhat cooler.  For most of us, it’s a favorite time of the year.  Kids are back in school, football is in full swing, baseball playoffs are around the corner, and in general, it’s a great time.  

Fall brings a reminder of tasks that must be done to get ready for winter.  As the leaves begin to fall and cover the yard, the pleasure of raking them up is ahead.  Be sure to wear some good work gloves to avoid rubbing blisters.  Pruning trees is another chore, and should be done with extreme care.  Standing on a stepladder to prune trees isn’t a safe idea.  When you are lifting boxes full of trash and debris from the yard, remember to lift with your legs and don’t strain your back.  

Taking a drive on a beautiful fall day is a great idea.  There’s nothing better than seeing the array of colors.  Use extra caution, though, as there may be more animals crossing the roads during cooler days and evenings.  Deer, raccoons, skunks, and many other little critters are out and about, and not watching for you, so you must watch for them.  Those pretty leaves that fall from the trees can build up on the roads and create a driving hazard, if they are wet.  When wet, they become the same hazard as puddles or standing water.  They also may be covering potholes or other holes in the road.  Early cool mornings can also be foggy.  Fog is the single most dangerous condition a driver can encounter, so slow down. 

If you choose to take one last fall hike or outing, please consider using the same precautions that we have passed on to you before:

  • Take your cell phone.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Watch for snakes, as they prepare for hibernation, they may be more restless.
  • Take along plenty of water, food, a first aid kit and supplies and flashlight.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot while you are camping.
  • Don’t attempt to get close to wild animals.
  • Wear high visibility vests and caps.
  • Stay alert to weather changes. 

Seasonal allergies also plague some of us in the fall.  Be sure you have some over-the-counter medication to take before they get the best of you; if necessary, ask your doctor to prescribe allergy medicine so you can enjoy the season. 

As you are driving to work, be sure to watch for children on their way to school.  Allow driving time to reach your destination without rushing.  As you go home, remember the days will be becoming shorter, meaning darkness will come earlier.  Enjoy every day of the season, and stay safe and well.  Be sure to get your flu shot if you haven’t done so already. 

One last reminder: your pets will notice the changes in the weather, too.  Be sure that those who live outside have good shelter, water, and extra food when the days get cold.  They are family members, too, and deserve to be well cared for.