Yesterday, it was August. Earlier today, it was Labor Day. Tonight, it’ll be October, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Sure I feel some remorse for missing this past summer. I told you about that last week. But the remorse has turned to acceptance, and the acceptance to celebration. If the Upper Midwest does one thing better than anyone, it’s Autumn. Vermonters are choking on their rage now, but it’s true. We do fall better. It’s not your fault, silly Northeast states, it’s just that we’re better than you and our colors prove it.
Not all of Wisconsin is uniform in this. I have a cabin in Western Wisconsin and the brilliant colors that we associate with fall are far more muted there. Door County does fall well, but man can only eat so many cherries. Have we also tried to serve you some of our bone-in whitefish that we aggressively boil? Hard pass, Door County. Lake Geneva does summer well, and we do winter well, but the month of October is our finest month. There isn’t even a second place.
While the warm-weather fanatics leave this place in favor of some warmer, boring place, the rest of us gear up for what will be a terrific month. The soybeans have turned from bright green to dull sage and then to gold, and now, as we near October, they leaves have fallen and nothing but a wispy stalk of beans remains. The corn is working on its transition to pale, and the last cut of hay is near. But while the farmers’ fields prepare to fall dormant, our trees are ready to fill the color gap with brilliant reds and yellows and oranges. The color is coming.
It’s already here, really, but only in whispers and glimpses. It’s not really here, here, just yet. I imagine that peak will occur sometime around October 10th, but I might be early by a week or so. Either way, if you didn’t find time to get to the lake this summer, get to the lake this fall. If you did visit in July and experienced Lake Geneva by walking around downtown (oh look, here’s a t-shirt shop!), you need to come back to fix your aim. Drive up, grab a coffee, walk the shore path. Drive the roads and wrap around the lake. Wander down Snake Road and take in the yellow canopy of sugar maples. Just be sure to get yourself to the lake, because life offers us nothing finer than October in Lake Geneva, and that might be an understatement.