Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year in the Black Hills. Warm days and cool nights are a plus, and having fresh-from-the-garden food is another big fall bonus.
Of course, this year was my first try at backyard hobby farming, so any produce I’ve had lately has been fresh-from-someone-else’s-garden. Green thumbs apparently aren’t natural gifts in my family.
But the best part of autumn out here has got to be the colors. The Black Hills are mostly ponderosas, spruce and other evergreens, but there are a lot of aspen, oak, and birch that turn in September and October. I haven’t been out hiking for a couple of weeks, but just driving along some forest highways has been a pretty colorful experience. I can’t believe the changes already. The leaves started turning a couple of weeks ago – courtesy of a couple early frosts, I think – and they don’t show any signs of shriveling up and falling off anytime soon.
I’ll go out exploring and post some pictures soon. In the meantime, if you’re out driving in the Black Hills, you’re bound to see some excellent color. Boulder Canyon (Highway 14A) between Deadwood and Sturgis is already full of reds and yellows, and Spearfish Canyon (also Highway 14A) between Lead and Spearfish is starting to turn, too.