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Richard Martin rakes Maple leaves on his property. | Eve Britton/Record-Journal
Chris Hartford practices his chipping before hitting the links at Southington Country Club. | Eve Britton/Record-Journal Richard Martin rakes Maple leaves on his property. | Eve Britton/Record-Journal

In Southington, a perfect fall day for all kinds of outdoor activities

SOUTHINGTON ­— Sunday’s blue skies and high-50s temperatures created the perfect day for raking and blowing leaves, snacking after the last soccer game of the season, having a tag sale, golfing, or selling popcorn for the Cub Scouts.

Dealing with falling and fallen leaves seemed to be the biggest activity, with people using traditional rakes, riding leaf mulchers, and gathering up the colorful vestiges of a New England fall.

“We have a one-acre lot. It kills us every year,” said Richard Martin, who with his son, Russell, was raking and blowing leaves into a tarp, which they then carried to the curb.

“We’re having a good old time, though,” he said, panting from the exertion. “It keeps me in shape, keeps me young like my son.”

Despite the thick ground cover of leaves, the two were determined to spend the afternoon watching the Minnesota Vikings game.

A little farther up Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Ryan Iannini decided that the beautiful fall weather was the perfect time for a tag sale. He monitored the sale while his mother raked leaves nearby.

“I have a big variety, but when it comes to fall, people are looking for older stuff,” he said, looking over his tables and baskets full of old tools, Cabbage Patch Kids, vases, theater playbills, caps and John F. Kennedy memorabilia.

“I try to come out here every weekend, depends on the weather,” he added, selling an older Christmas train set.

At a nearby park, the Southington Sounders soccer team was gobbling pizza in celebration of their last game of the season. A cool breeze blew leaves around their soccer cleats.

“They did good, played very, very well,” said assistant coach Chris Schuster.

Members of the co-ed team were wearing medals.

“It means I succeeded in soccer and everyone’s happy to have me,” said Nicholas Duling, 8, as he polished off a bag of Doritos and proudly showed off the bronze-colored medal dangling from his neck.

At the Southington Country Club, the parking was filled to capacity as golfers took to the tree-lined links.

“I think it’s awesome there’s no snow,” said Chris Hartford, wearing a light windbreaker, as he practiced his chipping. “Spring and fall is the best — the weather is perfect, no killer sun and humidity. It’s just right.”

It was just the right weather to walk, ride, and roller skate along the Farmington Canal Greenway.

“It’s a beautiful day with the sun,” said Richard Prato, who with his wife was walking his Portuguese water dog, Dudley.

Grace MacGillivray was also enjoying the path with her five children.

“I like this because they can skate and ride bikes and I have an unobstructed view of them,” she said. “They just love to skate and it’s a beautiful day.”

It was also a great day to sell flavored popcorn for the Cub Scouts, too, said Daniel Kraft, who was helping his son, Nathan, 6, of Pack 8 in Southington, with the sales outside the Walmart on Queen Street.

“Usually Sundays we’d be fishing,” said the elder Kraft. “But this is a good day to make money for the Cub Scouts.”

“I’m learning to make change, talk to people. I’m a little bit shy,” said Nathan Kraft, smiling. “It’s also good because it’s sunny. You get more people.” (203) 317-2208 Twitter: @EveBritton

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