Autumn naps are a wonderful thing!


The autumn woods are a GREAT place for a nap in the sun! photo by D. Alley

Autumn! By far my absolute favorite season! There are many, many, MANY reasons why I look forward to the end of summer! The biggest reason is the heat!

You may already know, I HATE being hot! If you are cold, you can always do something about it…But if you are hot, and you are already naked,  you have the AC cranked, fan blowing, and you have draped a damp towel over you…Well I guess you are stuck being hot!

This morning, my wife had to be in Bangor for a staff meeting. She asked me if I wanted to go with her. I couldn’t really think of a reason why I needed to be in Bangor, and then it hit me! I could go for the sole purpose of A CAR NAP!!!

The heat of the sun on a windshield on a frosty October morning is a GLORIOUS thing!!! I do so enjoy parking in a parking lot facing south, preferably at a place with a view, and sitting with the engine off, classic rock turned down low, a hot cup of coffee, and a good book!

I grabbed my copy of “IT” by Stephen King, and headed into Bangor. I dropped Jen off at her meeting, and followed the sun! Before long I found myself in a parking lot off Texas Avenue, facing a tree line, and some over grown tennis courts.

The sun came in through the windshield, but was early enough in the day, that it was still low in the sky, and didn’t blind me. The grass in the shade of the trees still held heavy frost. Crows sat in the sunny areas of the grass turning over leaves to find hidden treats.

I sat and read, and sipped a little coffee. The sun’s heat was magnified, and it bathed me in warmth that was gentle, and never overwhelming. Before long, no matter how strong the coffee was, I knew I was going to be pulled into a nap! And what a great nap it would be!

Deer hunters sitting on a southern ledge in their warm hunting clothes know this feeling as well. I have often wondered how many deer have snuck past me as I have napped in the sun!

An autumn nap is hard to duplicate. I’ve come close sitting in a camp chair while ice fishing, out on a lake in late February or early March, but a chilly gust of wind will always snap me back into reality!

Autumn naps work so well, because you have little or no exposed skin, so there is little danger of sunburn. The worst of the mosquitoes are a distant memory. Most of the children are in school, so it is quiet. Most importantly, while the sun is warm, the air is cool! By dressing in layers, or in the case of a car nap, adjusting the windows, you can easily prevent yourself from over heating.

If you have never tried it, I highly recommend spending your next lunch break parked in a sunny location, and listening to the radio…But be sure to set an alarm! You are going to nap so hard, that you might not make it back to work without it!

But do it soon! The geese are leaving in ever increasing numbers. This morning, I heard four flocks fly over my place this morning in less than an hour! Soon most of you will find it too cold to be napping anywhere without some sort of heater running…and that just isn’t the same!

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.