Ever so slowly, the world around us changes.
Sometimes it’s as obvious as the leaves that fall.
And other times, it’s a bit more subtle, evidenced by the bees that have slowed their frantic pace as they make final collections.
Mid morning, I headed down the cow path in search of other signs of change.
As I walked along, I began to realize the interdependence of all. Under the northern red oaks–many chopped off twigs.
The angled cut and empty cap indicated the work of porcupines seeking acorns.
I found maple leaves pausing on hemlocks,
pine needles decorating spruce trees,
and occasional puddles offering a rosy glow. Eventually, all of these leaves and needles will break down and give back.
I found life on a rock, where lichens began the story that was added to by mosses. The creation of soil was enhanced by a yearly supply of fallen leaves and needles gathered there. And then a seed germinated, possibly the result of an earlier squirrel feast.
I found orange peel and many other fungi aiding the process of decomposition so that all the fallen wood and leaves will eventually become part of the earthen floor.
I found a healthy stand of trees and ferns competing for sunlight in an area that had been heavily logged about ten years ago.
I found evidence of those who spend their lives eating and sleeping in this place.
I found seeds attached
and those on the fly–heading off in search of a new home.
I found the last flowers of fall
exploding with ribbony blooms.
After bushwhacking for a few hours, I found the snowmobile trail, where man and nature have long co-existed.
At last I found my way across the field rather than through our woodlot, thankful for the opportunity to take in the colors of the season one more time.
At the end of the day, I’m once again in awe as I think about how we, and all that we share this Earth with, are dependent upon each other and the abiotic forces that surround us.
And with that comes the realization that the scene is in constant flux and so am I.