Welcome back to My Wild Path! Are you ready to go on with my journey into the wilderness? I hope you are, because here is another chapter of the path: Towards Autumn.

In the previous post “A big step into My Wild Path” I told you about my first encounter with a wild animal, and how it affected my habits, my desire of photography, and, in time, my whole life. This time I’m going to write about another “big thing” that contributed to develop my huge love for nature. And especially for the woods. I’m talking about my favorite season: Autumn.

For most of the people, when you ask their favorite season the answer is always summer. Sun, warm temperatures, beach, seaside, outdoor activities, yes, this is great. But for me it’s different. Autumn is my favorite season for many different reasons, and I’m sure that, if you love the woods as much as I do, it must be your favorite season too! Exactly, Autumn had a great influence in my journey into the wilderness, and made me appreciate nature even more. And I’m not only talking about the colors of the woods in this particular season.


Trees in the woods during autumn


The first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the word “Autumn” is obviously “colors”. Yes, colors, the colors of the woods in this season are simply amazing. Leaves on the trees pass from green to various shades of yellow, orange, red and brown. A truly astonishing wonder of nature, and a pleasure for the eyes. This is my favorite time for hiking in the woods. Temperature starts to be cooler, it’s not too hot but still not too cold, and if you walk after a rainy day you can feel that typical smell of wet, which in the woods it’s amplified by all the other smells of the forest. Did you know that it actually has a name? Yes, it’s the “Petrichor”, the scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.

As I said before, Autumn is not only colors and there’s more than the foliage to admire in the forest in this season. As a photographer, I always look for the best light to take my pictures, but also for the best atmosphere to catch the right mood in my photos. And sometimes to get the right mood you don’t need the best light. An example? Have you ever walked in the woods with that thin layer of fog, that allows you to see quite enough to walk safely but does not allow you to see on longer distances? Scary? No, way! That’s an amazing experience that you should try, and I ensure you that you will enjoy it a lot. There’s a unique, special and magical atmosphere in the misty woods. And trust me, you will get amazing photos!


Trees silhouette in the forest with fog in black and white


The silhouettes of the trees in the fog are a great subject for your photography, and you can play around with the composition to get the best perspective. Also pay attention to the details! Leaves on the ground or floating on the water of the river, branches of the trees without the leaves, drops of rains on the leaves, there are a lot of great photo opportunities. And even if you’re not interested in photographing nature, but for example you’re a portrait photographer, the woods in Autumn can represent the best background for a perfect portrait. Even in the foggy woods, you can get some great color contrasts: try to take a photo of a person walking in the misty woods wearing a red or yellow waterproof jacket for example!

Lastly but not least, again, animals! And to connect to the previous post, I’m talking about deer again. Isn’t it clear that it’s one of my favorite animals? Imagine catching a deer silhouette in the misty woods right in front of you, wouldn’t that be amazing? But there’s something else going on in Autumn for deer: it’s the rut season. The rut season is the deer mating season and it takes place from the second half of September until the first half of October. During this period, male deer challenge each others with vocalizations to claim ownership of the females over the other suitors. That’s one of the most exciting natural sound, a mysterious and unforgettable wild call. If you have never heard it before, I suggest you to go to the woods during the rut season to experience it. You will be amazed!


Deer in the forest during rut season


The first time I heard the rut of a deer, I couldn’t believe how powerful it was. I was alone, in an open area in the middle of the woods, almost dark since the sun had already set down. Suddenly I heard that powerful roar, and I was speechless! It is so fascinating! This definitely had a huge impact in my journey into the wilderness. It actually made me love the woods even more. I consider this one of the best experiences that you can have in a forest. Try yourself and let me know if I’m right. I actually have a small record of a deer during the rut, you can listen to it here below. Turn up your volume since it was recorded with my phone, but  it might give you an idea of the roar.



Remember that deer are more active at sunrise and right after sunset, so be sure to be in the woods very early and stay until late if you want to see them. And be careful, during the rut season male deer are very aggressive and unpredictable, so keep your distance!

So, for a photographer, that’s another great point for loving Autumn. And this is why Autumn is my favorite season, and it has a great influence on me every single year. Maybe the fact that I was born on 17th September is not just a coincidence! 😀 Nature first made me appreciate the wild by showing me many of its wonders. Then Autumn came by and she showed me that she can always suprise me in so many different ways. That could only make my love even bigger! I invite you all to think about the words I wrote and, when it’s the right time, to take a walk in the woods and admire the magical environment all around you.


View of the forest with colors of the trees in autumn


Now it’s time for me to get ready for the deer rut season! Leave a comment and tell me if you like Autumn, why, or if you prefer any other season!

Mirko Chianucci Written by:

I'm a nature and wildlife photographer based in Italy. With a great desire to explore the world, I'm deeply in love with nature and wildlife. My goal is to raise awareness on natural environment and wildlife conservation to help preserving the amazing wonders of our planet.

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