Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Falling Leaves and Colorful Trees

Autumn has officially arrived in my region.  The leaves on the deciduous trees have been changing colors, signaling the end of their growing season.  The days have gotten cooler, almost to near freezing on a number of nights (and two weekends ago, we had high temperatures in the mid 80s during the day (that’s degrees F, for everyone outside of the U.S.)!).  We are definitely receiving fewer hours of daylight during the day now, and my garden has slowed down substantially.  I have also not seen many bees buzzing around my garden since it has gotten cooler.

I have harvested all but one of my pie pumpkins (I will post about my experience in making gluten-free pumpkin pie from my own pumpkins after I attempt that project), and a few days ago, I pulled up the warm season plants from my garden, including my tomato plants, pepper plants, zucchini, acorn squash plant, cantaloupe plants, and watermelon plants.  I have more green tomatoes than I know what to do with right now… 

Just as I felt at the end of last year’s growing season, it is bittersweet pulling up those plants from my garden that won’t survive the cold winter here.  I felt a little sad saying goodbye to those plants that were growing so strong and mightily and were still producing well.  Such is the life of a gardener in a temperate climate, right?

I will post a year-end review about what I learned from this year’s garden season very soon.

My Hike in a Northern Forest
My husband and I had a wonderful experience this past weekend admiring the fall colors in northern Minnesota.  We drove for several hours to get there, and then on Saturday spent most of the day hiking in Voyagers National Park, the only national park in the state of Minnesota.

It was very peaceful hiking in Voyagers during this fall season.  I imagine that the park is much busier during the summer, but for our hike on Saturday, it was very quiet and we never saw any other hikers on the trails we traversed.  I have always been drawn to forest ecosystems for as long as I can remember, and I have a very special place in my heart for trees.  They play so many important roles for us and for our planet, and to me it’s almost as if they are the “people” of the plant kingdom due to their dominance in many types of ecosystems.  In a way, they even seem to look a little like people, with their tall and slender trunks resembling torsos and their branches extending like arms and fingers…

With this feeling of kinship toward forests, I hiked along the lovely trails in the park and reflected upon how many of us far too often miss out on these types of experiences that I believe are a part of our natural birthright as human beings.  Getting reconnected to the natural world feeds our souls in a way that nothing else can. 

I believe that we actually have needs as human beings to connect with nature, and when we don’t, our souls suffer in some way.  Sadly, many folks who have never had these sorts of experiences will likely never even know what they are missing.  Others living in cities never get an opportunity to connect with nature at all, and they live their entire lives in a human-constructed jungle.  Truly a tragedy…  There is almost a tangible energy that one can feel when surrounded by living things that simply does not exist when surrounded by manmade concrete objects.  

Our hike in the forest was absolutely lovely, and it gave my husband and I a chance to recharge our batteries and our souls a bit within the framework of our very busy lives.  If you are currently experiencing the season of autumn wherever you live, I encourage you to get outside, explore, and enjoy the beauty and the wonderful experiences (and tasty food!) that this season of the year has to offer.  If you are experiencing a different season where you live, embrace it!  You won’t regret it.

Below are a few pictures from our hike in the forest this weekend.  I hope that you enjoy them, but I hope that they also inspire you to get outside and take some of your own beautiful pictures of the season.  Make some memories that you won’t ever forget.  Life is short, my Friends!

We spotted a grouse (according the one of the park rangers, anyway…).    

I am always on the lookout for interesting looking mushrooms!    

One of the many gorgeous views within the park…    

There were many interesting twists and turns along the paths that we walked upon…  Just like life, don’t you think?    

One of the awesome trees towering above our heads…    

Going up?

The sun would soon set…    

Looks like a tree-person to me!  What do you think?

This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    My what lovely photos depicting the beauty and simple pleasures of fall. It is also my favorite season of the year. The vibrant colors of fall foliage are both calming and uplifting. Thank you so much for sharing impressions and images from your hike in a Northern Forest at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I appreciate it!