What did you miss this summer?

What did you miss this summer?

When does summer end for you? When the kids go back to school? After Labor Day? The equinox in September? Does it really have to end then?

Did you get to do all the summer things you wanted done this year? If you did, great. It’s always nice to end a season knowing you got the most out of it.

But if not, don’t give up just yet. There may still be opportunities to fulfill your summer dreams.

You may find late summer and early fall can still be good for some warm-weather activities. In fact, they can be even better.

I particularly like kayaking later in the season. The early morning and late evening are a bit cooler, so putting some extra energy into my paddling feels good. At the height of summer, the extra exertion along with the higher temperature can be too much. And the later I go into the season, the cooler it gets. Most years I can still get a good paddle in right up to Thanksgiving.

Then there are the crowds, or the lack thereof. I love paddling across a smooth lake and feeling like I have it all to myself. I get to see a lot more wildlife when there are fewer boats.

Hiking or biking anyone? Both have the same advantages. You can enjoy cooler temperatures, fewer people and more wildlife.

Didn’t manage to get a vacation in? How about a weekend away instead? Plan a couple of weekend getaways for the whole family or maybe for just a couple of you. The break can still be welcome and often requires less preparation. Just make a reservation, put a few things in a bag and go.

If you aren’t tied to a school schedule, fall may prove one of the best times to travel. The temperatures and crowds have both dropped. And depending on where and when you choose to go, you can enjoy the colors of fall.

How did your garden go? If you have plants going, you may still have time for a reasonable harvest. You also may be able to increase your success using various types of coverings to extend the season.

If planting just didn’t happen this year, scope out some of your local farmers markets. You can enjoy the produce and the fun of visiting the markets.

Too busy for summer reading? Don’t despair. Reading is great all year. If you wanted to do your reading outdoors, just take a jacket or blanket with you and do it anyway.

Did you miss raising chicks or ducklings this spring? Fall is a great time for that too. Broody ducks or chickens will usually be happy to raise little ones as the temperatures cool just a bit.

Schedules certainly do change as the kids go back to school and get involved in fall activities but don’t let that stop the fun. Savor the last few days before the school schedule starts to dominate. Then work out ways to do warm-weather things your family enjoys, even after the new schedule starts.