Few years ago I was strictly a spring person, I didn’t really care about autumn. I used to think that autumn in Finland is just a wet, cold and dark mandatory period before the winter. Of course there can be few beautiful sunny days, but mainly a period when you don’t want to be in Finland. This years my whole perspective changed.
I think it was the mushrooms, or the long walks with Aurora in the forests, or the magical colours, or the excitement of building the Taika Forest Box, or the experience of being a mother and seeing all the plants dying and understanding better that it’s not the end of their story that hit me. Possibly all of these together. We’ve had so many magical and precious moments with my family which has made this Autumn so special to me. Also it surprised me that there are so many things to do in the Autumn, little rain doesn’t matter with good gear. Now I definitely think Autumn is as magical and intriguing as spring time, maybe even more mystical since dark and colourful forests are full secrets.
I don’t know if something has happened to my sight during motherhood that made me see all the colours brighter this year 😀 or has this year been exceptionally colourful. We could spend ages with Aurora exploring coloured leaves – all of them have a unique Autumn outfit and a story to tell. As if each leaf was a door to a new wonderland. We found hundreds of stories we would have wanted to capture and to put in a frame at home.
I’ve always loved mushrooms but I’ve only been interested in of few of them and mostly just foraged wild herbs. This summer I participated few mushroom courses and read lots of mushroom literature and was totally sold. I must say I have become quite obsessed with them, at least once a day I find myself longing to the forest with my basket. Aurora has also been really interested of mushrooms. I have managed to teach her not to eat anything from my basked, only to smell them (mostly she just wants to crush everything in my basket). When she’s few years older I hope she wants to join me hunting mushroom and this will become a shared hobby of ours.
Besides mushrooms Autumn forests and nearby nature are full of edible berries such as chokeberries (marja-aronia), rose hips and rowanberries. Their harvesting season is surprisingly long and all of those are really easy and fast to pick. Our poor freezer is about to explode and we would desperately need more space to store all these Autumn goodies. Mushrooms we are drying with a dryer, that’s the most convenience way to store them.
I think that having a kid can somehow sharpen some of our senses and we can become more aware of the environment and the seasonal changes in it. Perhaps it relates to the foraging background of human species – in order to feed offsprings, humans needed to be really conscious of their surroundings at all times.