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Enjoying Autumn in the Time of Coronavirus

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by Belladonna (subscribe)
Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published April 4th 2020
How to enjoy the season of falling leaves during lockdown
"There is something in the autumn that is native to my bloodó
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time."

From 'A Vagabond Song' by Bliss Carman

Canberra puts on a spectacular show during autumn. Autumn may be short, but here in our territory, it's usually a big season of festivals and celebrations such as Canberra Day, the Enlighten Festival, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, the wine harvest, and the Collector Pumpkin Festival. It's a season of camping, and picnics and heading to the coast and enjoying the great outdoors in our Bush capital before the long, cold dark season of winter begins. It's the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and falling leaves.


Autumn is my favourite time of the year, and I always delight in and celebrate the joys of this season, especially picnics and short camping trips in the bush with my family. However, we are now living in the time of Coronavirus, and like many cities and countries around the world, Canberra is in lockdown. So how can we stay in our homes and still enjoy the pleasures of this beautiful season?

Whereas summer and spring are seasons where you spend most of your time outdoors, autumn-with its cooler days and nights-is the perfect time for being at home as well as preparing our homes for the long, cold Canberra winter ahead.

So here are twenty ideas on how to enjoy this glorious season of mists and mellow fruitfulness at home.

1. Go for walks in your neighbourhood (bearing in mind the physical distancing rules) and revel in autumn. Take photos of trees bursting with red and gold leaves, or collect the leaves for a craft work you can create at home, or to add to an autumn wreath for your door.

Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

2. Play in the leaves. It doesn't matter how old you are-it's always so much fun kicking up a pile of leaves!

3. Decorate your home for autumn. If you have Halloween decorations, take them out of the cupboard you've been keeping them safe in and use them to decorate your home. Halloween is an autumn celebration, after all. So pull out the Jack O Lanterns, ghosts, black cats, haunted houses, and witches. Halloween decorations make so much more sense at this time of the year than in spring when we celebrate it.

If you don't have Halloween decorations, then grab some pumpkins, orange candles, and fairy lights the next time you rush to the shops and use them to decorate your home. You can also use the autumn leaves in your backyard and those leaves you collect during your walks.
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

4. Donate goods to those in need. Autumn is traditionally the time of the harvest and sharing the bounty of that harvest with others in our community. With Coronavirus strongly impacting on the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community, you can help those in need by donating food and other essentials to Communities@Work at Tuggeranong Community Centre, South.Point Tuggeranong, Cooleman Court,
Gungahlin Community Centre, Gungahlin Village, Gungahlin Marketplace and Calwell Shopping Centre.

5. Make autumn crafts. You may as well put all those autumn leaves (and toilet paper rolls!) to good use. Here are some great craft ideas for children from DLTKandRed Ted Art.

6. Create Jack O Lantern pumpkins. You don't need to carve them. You can just draw faces on them, paint them, stick stickers all over them, or cover them in sparkly glitter.

7. Have a wine and cheese night. When the children are in bed, this is the perfect lockdown date night. Or a self-care night just for you, with or without a partner.

8. Read/tell ghost stories or have a horror movie night.
Winter is coming, and there's no better way to get into the mood than by telling or reading ghost stories, or by having a horror movie night. For me, autumn is just perfect for reading Edgar Allan Poe stories, or a novel by one of the Bronte sisters, or Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein, or watching/reading Stephen King's IT.
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

9. Bake an apple pie or pumpkin pie.
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

10. Make pumpkin soup.

11. Plant bulbs in your garden ready for spring.

12. Make a home for the insects in your garden. If you are homeschooling your kids, then this is a fantastic project. Go here for ideas on how to make a simple bug hotel.

13. Camp in your backyard. The campgrounds in the ACT may now be closed, but that shouldn't stop you from pitching your tent in your own backyard and camping out there! Roast marshmallows, gaze at the moon and stars, take out your torches and look for insects in your garden, sing songs, and enjoy being outdoors.

14. Have a picnic in your backyard. We may not be allowed to gather for picnics anymore, but you can still have a picnic in your backyard and enjoy these beautiful autumn days.
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

15. When it rains, put on your raincoats and rainboots and jump in muddy puddles. Once again, it doesn't matter how old you are-jump and splash like crazy in a puddle when you see one!

16. Learn to knit and knit socks and scarves and beanies in preparation for winter.

17. Make an autumn wreath. Decorate your front door with this pretty autumn wreath made out of paper. Of course, you can also use actual autumn leaves. Please go
here for instructions on how to make it.
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

18. Roast marshmallows. They go well with mugs of hot chocolate too!
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

19. Make a pinecone feeder for the birds in your garden.
Take care of the birds that come to your garden during the coming cold months by making pine cone feeders. They're very simple to make. Kidspot has a simple feeder for young kids to make. If you are homeschooling your kids, this will also make a great project.

20. Celebrate Easter.
Easter is actually a spring festival, but because we're on the other side of the Northern Hemisphere where the holiday of Easter originated, Easter falls in Australia during autumn. So for me, I've always found it a bit odd seeing Easter spring symbols such as flowers and baby animals and Easter bonnets, etc at this time of the year. It's just as odd as hot cross buns appearing on supermarket shelves on Boxing Day! But autumn is when we celebrate Easter in Australia, so if you do celebrate Easter, then enjoy it and all of its spring symbols! Here are my tips on how to celebrate Easter during a pandemic.

Enjoy autumn, Canberra!
Enjoying autumn in the time of coronavirus

"These are the days of falling leaves,
The days of hazy weather,
Smelling of gold chrysanthemums
And gray wood-smoke together.
These are the nights of nearby stars,
The nights of closer moons,
When the windy darkness echoes
To crickets' farewell tunes."

Autumn Song by Elizabeth Ellen Long

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Why? Because autumn can still be enjoyed during lockdown
When: Throughout March, April and May
Where: In your homes and neighbourhoods
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