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Embracing Seasonal Change

Have you ever spent any time pondering seasonal change? Every year, it seems as though the summer days get shorter and shorter.  Unceremoniously, summer slips into autumn, without warning. Just like that, the hot and humid days of summer have become the crisp, chilly days of autumn.

Stores conveniently bombard us with a myriad of autumn inspired merchandise ranging from pumpkin flavored beverages, breads, cinnamon-apple scented candles, handsoaps, home decor to colorful clothing in shades of gold, green, red and brown. This is yet another reminder that the summer is over and autumn has arrived. It is time to prepare for the cold weather. Winter is on its way!

Autumn leaves spread out on the ground

It’s hard to blend in when you were meant to stand out! Photo by June Stoyer

A lot of people enjoy fall activities such as pumpkin and apple picking, touring the wineries, visiting local farms, taking long drives to enjoy the foliage, etc.  How many stop to really think about the creatures we share our world with? What do they do to prepare for winter?

Do we think about the 3000-mile migratory path of the Monarch butterfly that makes its final trip to Mexico as it migrates from the Northeast through lands that are saturated with glyphosate? What about the plight of the honeybees as they forage through neonicotinoid laden fields and lands trying to store honey? There is no escape for our pollinators. It is up to human beings to bring about that change.

Mahatma Gandhi is often credited with saying, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Perhaps, this will be the year that people take the time to learn about our environment and what we need to do to protect it. It is incredibly important to spend some time researching these issues. Learn about what is happening and what you can do to help. Don’t rely upon one source but review information from several sources.

This is why I love the poem, To Autumn by John Keats. Every year I try to take some time to appreciate all that surrounds me. I hope you find a new appreciation for the environment as you read it. Enjoy!

John Keats

To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

bee foraging on red flower

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Autumn foliage in Upstate, NY

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


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