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Hobbit Hollow Farm on the western shore of Skaneateles Lake.

“Let the leaves fall where they may — welcome October — autumn is here.”

— Charmaine J. Forde

Welcome to fall, my friends, the season of shorter days and even cooler nights. Full disclosure: autumn tops my list of seasons — but not because of the generic reason most people give, which is seeing the leaves change hue. Why is it that we get so excited to see leaves turn red and gold all the while ignoring a perfectly coiffed branch the rest of the year? Is a simple green not good enough for us to enjoy? I would assume, seeing as though no one goes out to take a photo of a tree-covered hill during July unless they're capturing a sunset or a blue sky.

Bottom line, leaves are just nature's accessories, and we don't truly notice them until they become “bling.” Once they do decide to show a rosier shade of russet what do we do in appreciation? We rush to rake them up into nice big piles and then either burn them or toss them into the trash. Apparently there is no five-second-rule when it comes to foliage.

My little rant aside, the reason for my sunny disposition toward graying skies is because I'm just more at ease in a sweater. Also who doesn't sleep better then when they're tucked in under a mound of blankets or felt secure hearing the wind howl against the windows while being cocooned in a comforter? To me that's autumn bliss. Another plus for my push for fall is that you don't feel as lazy sitting on the couch reading a book when it's chilly out compared to a sunny day in July where you feel if you don't get outside to make an appearance you've wasted a weekend.

The only thing I don't particularly care for about autumn are pumpkins. Let me clarify, because I don't want to come across as being anti-gourd and I'll soon be telling you about how I'm going to carve one up and place it on my porch. No, I'm talking about the more commercial side of the pumpkin trend. This is the time of year when there will be pumpkin pies, pumpkin candles, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin lattes and just about anything else that can be seasoned, stuffed or scented with an overtly orange spice. Is it so strange to want a simple cup of coffee with two creams and a sugar without needing it to be paired with a glorified squash?

And, not for nothing, but when did pumpkins become considered a spice? Salt and oregano I can understand, but have you taste-tested spaghetti sauce and thought “this could use a pinch of pumpkin?” I rest my case. But by all means don't let me stop you from enjoying this crisp autumn season — even if it is from the comfort of a warm indoors.

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Auburn native Bradley Molloy’s column appears here each Sunday. He can be reached at