No season is more sense-oriented than the sights, sounds, aroma and touch of autumn. To hear the crunch of leaves when walking through a forest under red, orange, yellow and brown trees as the smell of an autumn cookout drifts by can reach a long ways during a fall journey.

That reach turned to sentimentality recently when I recalled the time my dad purchased his first slide camera, an Argus C-3. Dad loved to enjoy nature and capture pictures of creation’s finest on film. Back in the mid-50’s, slide cameras were just coming into their own. I recall the first trip we took to Brown County, Indiana in the middle of October. Multi-colored rolling hillsides appeared as quilts spread across the countryside beneath a deep blue sky sprinkled with puffy clouds.

To make things more memorable, I had been given a Brownie Star Flash camera. Every time my dad stopped the car at another park overlook, I was by his side snapping the “black and white” version of his spectacular colors.

As his library of nature slides developed, we would invite neighbors to our house for an evening of viewing dad’s slides, visiting and some of my mom’s fresh hot apple pie.

Recently, I brought memories from that distant past to life when I took a local ride snapping leaf pictures of settings that my dad used to photograph during rides on autumn Sunday afternoons.

I drove past our old place and was stunned to see that the bright red maple that stood in front of our house was still standing. Once again it was at its peak, the tree my parents enjoyed so much 50 years ago. Again I recalled the evenings of raking leaves into piles that eventually brought us hot dogs and roasted marsh mellows.

I drove into the countryside outside of the small hamlet where I was raised and there, to my surprise, were many of the same trees my dad used to photograph, rich in color and displaying nature’s autumn wonders to the next generation.

One tree I remembered during my magical mystery tour of the past was one that stood by the elementary school I had attended. I thought, “surely not,” but to my amazement, even though the building had been taken down several years ago, that tree, in its reddish-orange array, was standing and adorned the same way it was when my dad used to focus from different angles to photograph nature’s masterpiece.

These days, I have my own version of dad’s slide journeys. I love to walk on trails in nature forests and capture my own set of pictures. In the evening, I post them on Facebook, today’s version of the neighborhood gathering to view nature pictures.

The sound of the crunching leaves under my feet, the smell of leaves as they sift around me like colored snowflakes and the beauty my parents used to soak in so many years ago lift me to a time in life when I learned the importance of understanding that life’s greatest gifts cost nothing, yet they display the creative artistry of a Creator who passes on the fines of His intricate artwork from generation to generation.