Southern Illinois is beautiful any time of year, but my favorite is when autumn is just about to set in. The air is crisp but not cold, and the colors are just beginning to change. Many people think Southern Illinois is nothing but corn fields, but we also have Shawnee National Forest, which covers most of the southern third of the state. There are numerous hiking trails and state parks within the forest, including Little Grand Canyon. This maple tree caught my eye as we were hiking back out of the canyon (about a two hour hike). The light coming through the leaves was just perfect.