Apricot orchard on Konnowac Pass, near Moxee, Washington. (Courtesy Lance Johnson)

I’ve always, always loved the fall. It is, of course, a season for the senses. The air turns crisp, the colors emerge across valley floors and hillsides, and trails covered in crunchy leaves beckon for a few final adventures.

But I find it’s also a season for reflection. What I most enjoy as I wander through autumn’s stretching shadows is letting my thoughts linger on the year gone by and how much has taken place since it all began with that midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve so many short months ago. For me, this year especially has been one of incredible transition—a new job, a new home, and new friends. Yes, it’s certainly been exciting, one filled with a whirlwind of emotions.

I think that’s why I find so much comfort in this month’s cover, by Yakima photographer Lance Johnson of Image West Photography. His photo of an apricot orchard long after the harvest has ended feels familiar, almost like I’ve wandered lost in thoughts under these branches before. I find strength in these trees, which stand as sentinels against the change. For we all know that while the leaves, and their brilliant bursts of colors, may fade into the harsh cold of winter, they will be back. And come spring, these branches will sprout new blossoms, ready to begin the bounteous journey anew.

Johnson’s work has been featured a number of times on the covers of Good Fruit Grower. You can find more of his photos at