Where the Wild Things Are- Crunch Leaves

We are at the time when things have come to the balance point again. Light and Dark meet at the halfway point, from which we slide slowly into the cold and dark for six months. The lessening sunlight is the signal for many things in nature that it is time to pull back from growth and store up reserves until it it time to  spring forth again. It is most evident in the trees as they lose their leaves and give up their fruit. The vascular plants are also losing leaves and dying back to the roots. This leaves the forest floor a bit more open, the sunlight reaching into the depths again. I don't know why it should, or if this happens every year, but it has triggered a blooming. Deep in the foliage, under fallen leaves I am finding wild strawberries in full blossom! There shouldn't be time for another fruiting, but I like to imagine a small chipmunk, when out gathering last minute seeds and nuts for winter stores, suddenly finding a tender berry to snack on.

That note reminds me that I should be observing the nuts on the oak trees. They go in cycles and last year was notable for it's lack of them. This causes hard times for the animals who depend on them for sustinance. It was a good year for hazelnuts, so I'd better start looking up!

In past years I have always loved the fall. The bright colors, cool temps. This year I find myself a bit reluctant as I observe it's arrival. The summer was such a rush of plants, always something new to find, that I don't want to let go of that. But to everything there is a time. Nature reminds us of that everyday and fall is no exception. So I shall soon be walking in the crunchy leaves, blue sky stretching out overhead. Geese will wing their way south and the morning dew will change to frost lingering in the shadows. Each day will bring special joys, as nature continues it's yearly show.