Autumn usually makes me feel semi-depressed. Knowing that the growing season is coming to a close. Leaves change color and drop off, leaving plants and trees with nothing but bare branches. A bitter cold winter is waiting around the corner. The whole perspective of everything coming to an end has never settled well with me. Until I came across a bookmark that was sent to me by the American Horticultural Society this year. A quote on the back of the bookmark said…
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus
It’s interesting to look at autumn as a second spring. Leaves that are usually green turn yellow, orange, red, pink and various shades of these colors. Some are multi-hued. My new found perspective on autumn makes me more aware of the leaves’s colors, large and small.
Below are leaves that were found in and around our garden. Quite colorful. I can see why Camus described them as flowers of the second spring.
I took this photo at the Bear Mountain State Park this autumn. We make an annual pilgrimage to the park every autumn just to see the leaves. It was so peaceful to sit and look at the amazing colors both on the trees and their reflection on the water. And, to contemplate.
Though Carl Sandberg was not Henry David Thoreau’s contemporary, their writing conveys the same message. Thoreau wrote in his journal in 1837 “My desire is toknowwhat I have lived, that I may know how to live henceforth“. Carl Sandberg wrote the caption under the image.
The wise learn from the past, and from mistakes they have made. Fools insist they have made none and continue on the same path.
Happy New Year 2016
We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May your garden be abundant. May your honeybees be healthy. May your profession and hobbies be fruitful and bring you joy.
And, may your contemplation bring you guidance and a happy path to lead.
Thank you for continueing to read this blog. It has been an honor to see your interest and to read your comments.
Tomorrow, December 22 will be the official first day of winter but Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. Day time temperature will be over 50° F for the next few days and night time will not be much lower than that. In fact, in this area Christmas Eve is predicted to be 70° F during the day.
The sad part of this unseasonably warm winter is that plants and animals are fooled by it. They base their life cycles on the seasonal temperature changes. When it’s cold they hibernate or go dormant in order to conserve energy when food is hard to find. But when it’s too warm bears will come out from hibernation. Cherry trees will bloom in Brooklyn. Our honeybees came out looking for food too. Luckily they are domesticated so we feed them. But what happens to the wild honeybees? There are no flowers for then to get nectar or pollen from.
Aside from our bees, plants in our garden are also fooled by this weather.
I don’t know what this winter will turn out to be. If the ‘rural legend’ of Wooly Bear caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella) hits the mark most of the time, this winter should be a warm winter. According to the text in ‘Caterpillars of Eastern North America‘ by David L. Wagner, the legend says the width of the orange band can be used to predict the severity of the upcoming winter; the narrower the band, the colder the winter.
This Wooly Bear on my glove told me the winter will be pretty warm, see how wide the orange band is. But maybe he was just stretching.