by Taylor Burns

Did you know there are over 23,000 different kinds of trees in the whole world? How about that there are around 400,000 different flower species? I didn’t either, but now you now.
My love for nature and the outdoors has always been strong. I have always loved the different colors and types of trees and flowers. Sunflowers are my favorite, but fall. Wow. Fall.
Fall is my most favorite time of year because everything is changing. The trees’ leaves are changing from green to yellow to orange to brown. The air is getting cooler. The birds are migrating south for the winter. Girls start bringing out their Uggs, while boys bring out their flannels and stocking hats. To me, it’s the most beautiful time.
Just the other day, I went to Ledges State Park in Boone, Iowa. It’s this beautiful park with trees everywhere you look, and this time of year, there are fallen leaves all over the ground. There’s gorgeous sandstone rock. There are these little streams that run over the roads and through the woods. In some places, cars have to drive through the water. If you’re walking and you get to the water, there are some stones that you walk across, but as you do that, look down, and it looks like a little waterfall. I could spend hours there walking up the steep, rocky stairs and stopping every couple steps to look at each different view. There’s also this big rock that overlooks a river. I could stand on the rock, look down and see nothing under you but water. It’s extremely high, and to be honest, I was a little scared, but when I looked out, I could see all the different shades of trees that you’re eye-level with.
It was all breathtaking. I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say that when I got out of the car, I took in a deep breath of fresh air because I don’t get into the middle of nowhere to do that too often. Walking through the woods on the rocky trails, lined with wood barriers, I looked around and simply thanked God for the beautiful life He has given me.
We all take advantage of things in our lives. People can slip through your fingers so fast. The weather can change quickly, too. Some complain that in the spring, it’s too rainy. Others say in the summer, it’s too hot. Fall is cold because we’re used to the hot summer. Winter is freezing. This world is perfectly made. Each season is beautiful and the perfect temperature. Don’t take advantage of the perfect things that we have because they could be gone in an instant.
I encourage you to take a walk outside your house tonight. Look at all the colorful and changing leaves because they’ll never be like that again. Take some pictures. Take a trip to Ledges — you will not be disappointed. It truly is a beautiful place. Take a deep breath in and thank God for this beautiful place we live in.