Fascinating foliage, variety of cool weather activities best parts of season’s changing

I love fall.

I’m kind of unapologetic about it. I don’t feel bad about snubbing the other seasons. Winter is OK, but spring is all wet and muddy, and summer is just too hot. Autumn is pretty much perfect. Cool and brisk weather, but my jacket’s just hanging around like an accessory, not a mandate. Pumpkin everywhere. The air just smells like cinnamon and brown sugar and oaky smoke from the neighbors starting to warm up their wood burning stove.

And fall in the Moshannon Valley? Well, let’s just say that I’ve lived different places: Minnesota, Washington, Pittsburgh and Florida. I like autumn everywhere, even in Florida where the leaves don’t change color but your hair doesn’t burst into flame when you go outside like it does in July. But here at home, it’s easy to see why people who don’t live in the heart of forests and mountains pine for this and “leaf peeping” is becoming an honest-to-God tourist activity.

Watching the trees that line Centre Street slowly turn to copper is like getting to live in a Norman Rockwell painting. Seeing the horseshoe of woodland surrounding Cold Stream Dam blaze red and yellow can take your breath away. And if you really want to know fall the way Mother Nature intended, take a short drive up Route 504 to Black Moshannon State Park.

But fall is more than just a season. It’s also an experience. Like going along on a field trip with your kid to Morgan Run Farm or taking a family run to Kunes Farm in Keewaydin for a peck of sweet, tart Jonagold apples. Or going to a great fall festival, like the one that starts Saturday at noon at the Philipsburg Elks Country Club off Route 322. Lots of fun activities, kids games, great music and food, like homemade apple dumplings, which are just autumn in a bowl. The event is open to everyone and admission is free.