Precious As Autumnal Sunshine: 9 Quotes for Leaf Peeping

Photo by Autumn Mott on Unsplash

Editor's Note:

Who doesn’t love a good quote? For more like this, check out our quotations archive.

Regardless of your opinions about Halloween, the 16th century poet John Donne insists that “In Heaven, it is always Autumn.” This could explain the popularity of the low-impact sport known as leaf peeping, the affectionate (or derogatory, depending on how you feel about sharing the road with tourists) term for going on a journey with the specific intent of scoping out the fall foliage.

Autumn is also the perfect artistic muse: any author worth their stripes has rhapsodized about the season, which makes the race for memorable quotes quite tight indeed. Below are some of our favorites, both old and new, to get you in the mood for this year’s leaf peeping season — or to stand in for it, if you plan to spend the fall in slippers and armchairs. Enjoy!

Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller, 1824
“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Yoko Ono, “Season of Glass,” 1981
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks, 1842
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions, 1974
“What does autumn go on paying for
with so much yellow money?”

Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1962
“The dust was antique spice, burnt maple leaves, a prickling blue that teemed and sifted to earth. Swarming its own shadows, the dust filtered over the tents.”

P.D. James, A Taste for Death, 1986
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.”

Takashi Hiraide, The Guest Cat, 2014
“By late autumn the yard would grow thick with fallen leaves, causing the landlady to heave many deep sighs.”