Call it autumn, call it fall, but there’s something special about the season with two names.

To me, nothing beats the weather this time of year.  No excessive temperatures (on either end of the scale), low humidity, and breezes with that cool edge to them.

It’s the best time of the year to get outside and walk a dog, ride a horse, dig a hole or just sit around.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

Animals seem to be in agreement with the notion that fall is a fine time to be alive.

Our big ol’ Pembroke Welsh corgi spent many weeks hiding from the heat monster not that long ago. Now he spends more time hanging out on the front porch or the walkway to the parking area, or trying out sections of lawn on varying sides of the house.

The horses seem more carefree about moving around their fenced acreage, after gingerly preserving every ounce of energy for so long.

I saw a group of baby buzzards the other day enjoying the blue skies while circling a nearby barn. Good to see that God’s clean-up crew has healthy new members.

And man, the two neighborhood coyote packs are obviously excited by the presence of fall. On several recent nights their song has been highly inspired, almost as if they purposely set up about a mile apart and then compete for audio supremacy.

With temperatures dipping quickly when the sun goes behind the ridge, fall nights are the absolute best for sitting by a nice fire burning in a rock fire pit. While doing just that the other night by our pit adjacent to the corral, I was reminded of how comfortable it is to sit by a fire when it’s 44 outside. I’ve tried it in the winter, too, and it’s OK, but when it’s 25 out your back tends to get cold as you sit facing the flame.

And on summer nights? Forget it – ice water please.

Outdoor chores seem far more enjoyable in the fall as well.

The heat from the riding mower engine isn’t as noticeable when reducing the back portion of the giant lawn to shoe-top level. And digging weeds where the garden used to be or using the steel rake to even out the driveway don’t cause anywhere near as much sweat.

Yep, fall.

It’s time to put up one last bale of hay.

It’s time to get in a few rounds before the fairways go dormant and the greens freeze up.

It’s a chance to fix that second floor window gable, and run that new gas line from the propane tank to the shop.

It’s an opportunity to do lots of groundwork with the new mare.

It’s time to go to that outdoor flea market and hit every yard sale within a 20-mile radius.

Time to paint the outbuilding.

Time to hang out the laundry.

Time to plant some bulbs.

And time to enjoy.

And who could ever tire of the colors on the Ozark hillsides this time of year? There are other places as pretty in the fall, but I’ve seen none prettier.

Of course, it won’t be long before weather forecasts included phrases like “wind chill factor” and words like “accumulation.” But for now, fall conditions rule and the time is right to be outdoors.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Now if only black walnuts would jump into buckets and bags on their own…

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and advertising representative for the Houston Herald. Email: