As farmers in the countryside prepare to harvest paddy, trees laden with apples show signs that the fruit is waiting to be picked.
In the hilly areas, the maize crop and walnut trees are also maturing for the harvest.
"The cicada insect has a 17-year-long life-cycle and it is during the autumn months that it mounts the treetrunks to produce its particular sound before it lays its eggs.
"Kashmiris living in the villages and along wetlands where willow plantations abound are familiar with the sound produced by these insects. Autumn and singing of the cicada insects have always been synonymous in the Valley," said a local zoologist.
Besides apples, grapes, for which north Kashmir's Lar area in Ganderbal district is famous, are also picked in the beginning of the autumn season.
For anglers, Kashmir's mountain streams with trout are like a treasure trove during the autumn months.
"The water is so clean during the autumn season that one can angle for the whole day. Although trout is now being farmed in government and private hatcheries, the unparalleled taste of brown trout as well as the thrill of cathing one is something only an angler knows," Naseer Ahmad, an ardent devotee of the rod and tackle, told IANS.
Interestingly, trout was introduced in Kashmir by the British rulers early in the 19th century to address the nostalgia they felt for the fish. Finding the local climate and the habitat congenial to their growth and reproduction, trout has since spread to almost all the Valley's fast-moving mountain streams.
In fact, one of the major attractions for foreign anglers has been the high-quality brown trout found in Kashmir. For anglers, trekkers, watersports lovers and also for those who come to just lounge and relax, autumn is the best season to visit the Valley.
A nip in the mornings and evenings and the gentle warmth of the autumn sun are so refreshing that many visitors and locals wouldn't miss these for a fortune.
Towards the end of autumn in November, the chinar trees change their colour from green through crimson to yellow. It is a spellbinding spectacle that holds the viewer in awe as one stands before these majestic trees.
While some believe that the chinars were brought to Kashmir from Iran, others say they have been brought here from Greece.
One Persian visitor during yore is known to have exclaimed, "Che Nar" (What Fire!) after seeing the fiery leaves of the tree in autumn.
"If you are seeing a chinar tree for the first time in your life in autumn with crimson leaves you are bound to notice the 'fire' that the Persian visitor is believed to have referred to," Farooq Nazki, a noted local poet and broadcaster, told IANS.
And, as the autumn advances, thousands of migratory birds from far off Siberia, China, the Philippines and eastern Europe start arriving to spend the winter months in the local water bodies that host the avian visitors. For the well-being of the migratory birds Kashmir has a separate wildlife department that protects the local bird reserves from poaching and human interference.
Whichever way one looks at it, autumn is undoubtedly the king of the Valley's seasons. If you haven't been to Kashmir in autumn, you just don't know what you are missing.
(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at email@example.com)
--IANS (Posted on 15-09-2013)