Friday, October 7, 2016

Autumn Inspiration

Temperatures have dropped, leaves are turning, pumpkin pie and apple cider are on the menu. It is Fall.
Opportunities abound to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and festivals.

I love Westminster’s Fall Fest, the Eldersburg Apple Festival and the Carroll County Farm Museum’s Fall Harvest Days, as well as others. One of my favorites is the Autumn Glory Festival.

Garrett County, Maryland’s fall foliage has been drawing visitors to the area for more than 50 years. I have been to that event numerous times and am never bored.
For locals the festival starts on Wednesday night with a Chamber of Commerce dinner. Other activities begin on Thursday. Chief among these is the Firemen’s parade and Octoberfest in downtown Oakland.

The entire weekend includes musical entertainment, plays, quilt, craft and antique shows, art exhibits, yard sales and turkey dinners. There is something for everyone in this small town of Oakland and surrounding areas.
Saturday afternoon there is another large parade with area marching bands and creative floats. My children marched in this parade carrying wooden leaves to emphasize the autumn theme.

You can enjoy the beauty of Maryland’s mountains and Deep Creek Lake while in the area.

Nearby are other festivals in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I particularly like the Kingwood, WV Buckwheat Festival. Lots of fun and lots of buckwheat cakes in those wild, wonderful WV mountains.
Friends and family enjoy fall’s corn mazes, pumpkin chuckin and apple dumplings .

If you want to recommend other fall festivals in the surrounding area, please do. I always like to explore.

Below are a few poems I wrote while I lived in the mountains.

(These and others can be found in my chapbook Mountain Musings, available on

by Jo Donaldson

The streets are empty now,
waiting for the rhythm of the marching bands.
The sidewalks soon will have little room
where anyone can stand.

The merchants busily arrange
their seasonal wares,
While the trees flame briefly.
before winter strips them bare.

Jo Donaldson

The mountains are on fire, autumn's fire.
The trees flame with color.
They burn into my soul,
Scorching me with their beauty.


when winter's barren landscape follows,
with snow to soften, or ice to reflect,
that flame will still burn.
Autumn's fire, branded on my memory.

Autumn’s Glory!

By Jo Donaldson

A brilliant flash of color
 before the barren landscape of year’s end.
  Reds, golds, yellow, oranges,
    among the brown and still green garments of mountain life.
     an extravagant coat to catch and please the eye.

The mountain dresses in her finest
  to dance in the cold autumn breezes,
    before winter snow and ice blankets her,
       bidding her  sleep until Spring.


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