While walking though a Baton Rouge neighborhood the other evening, we noticed a homeowner descending from her carport attic with a lovely brown wreath in her hand — a small door decoration to herald the arrival of autumn.

Wreaths once were strictly for Christmas, of course, but we now see them adorned with brown and orange to welcome fall, or laced with alumni colors to salute a favorite football team on game days. Yuletide still brings wreaths into their full glory, a festival of crimson and holly and gold. But in south Louisiana, of course, the end of Christmas is really no reason to end a celebration. Gaudy purple Mardi Gras wreaths have become a staple of the carnival season.

The season of wreaths starts each autumn and extends through Ash Wednesday in this part of the world, and when we see those circles of welcome on local front doors, we’re reminded of what a people-friendly place south Louisiana can be.

Such small traditions are easily overlooked. But collectively, they make Louisiana a special place to live.