Get out on your favorite ski trail.
The foliage is off the trees and the leaves are matted down from fall precipitation. This is a great time to make some unique discoveries among the natural and man-made features. There are no insects to make your visit miserable. In fact you will have to go hunting in leaf litter or under the remaining bark of an old elm to find a bug. Take a picture of one of your kids as he discovers an insect. Natural or man-made features like boulders, stone outcrops, and stone walls are quite visible. Creeks and drainage ways are also more noticeable and provide a reflection for a unique photograph or a magnet for little feet.
Anytime of day will work. Frost in the pre-dawn light can provide unique discoveries. Are deer out and about, yet? Sunrise here is just after 7 AM. A great time to take a dramatic photograph or watch that wisp of steam of that early cup of caffeinated beverage. The low angle of the sun even mid-day can provide an interesting perspective to the half-dozen leaves still holding on and rattling in the crisp gentle breeze. Sunset is just after 4 PM. This is another great time to take a picture. Catch a flock of geese looking for a spot on the water to overnight.
If you see snow flakes in the air, you will be the first in your neighborhood. If no one has seen snow, try your annual ritual to encourage snow: planting ice cubes works great, wearing your underwear backwards or inside out can also work. Hike with poles to wake up those muscles you haven’t flexed in a while.
Wear an extra layer as you venture out. This is a great time to test out that new cold weather gear. If you are in the more remote areas remember to wear highly visible colors so you can be seen by your family members, by other enthusiasts and an occasional hunter. Get out there and enjoy the autumn quiet and discover something new.