Summer solstice has passed, and the earth is reborn in miniature.
Tiny helicopter seeds on the manitoba maple are the size of my fingernail.
Acorns on the oak are tiny green pebbles.
Half-sized squirrels recklessly cross the ground near me, not yet having learned the caution of an adult.
Families of fledgling foragers feast! Magpie groups of about 5 birds array themselves in high bushes and low tree branches. The young, with their tell-tail stubby tail feathers, suitable for close quarters in the nest, still with the low raspy call of a nestling demanding food – always accompanied by the anxious adult shepherd with their long graceful tail & higher, piercing call.
A nuthatch came to the seed feeder yesterday, followed by another who watched from the tree, followed by a third – half the size of the adults. A young fledgling learning life outside the nest from her parents.
I’ve felt especially sympathetic to the nestlings this spring, as I cuddle close a young fluffy-headed chick of my own.
Midway between equinox and solstice, the dark time of the year begins. And right on cue, the first snowflakes fall from the sky, beautifully drifting down at a meditative pace. The leaves have dropped from most trees, leaving behind decorative bright red berries or helicopter seed pods. In nature lore the sacred Crone mourns the death of her spouse for the next six weeks, until the solar babe is born and the light begins its annual growth. A time of peaceful reflection, rest, and waiting.
A wonderful moon! Gateway to Autumn, easing us in slowly, deliciously…
It began with the first inklings of summer’s end:
Two bright yellow jewels in the green grass – the first fallen leaves.
Six geese making their pilgrim way across dusk-darkening sky at 9pm.
It shines brightly now on comfortably cool nighttimes; darkness falling ever-earlier.
Mornings are moonless at this time: sunrise presides over crisp morning walks,
under bright clear skies trailing high clouds that capture ever-shifting colours.
Elm trees presenting a single, stark, yellow-clustered branch among the summer-green.
And it will end with the autumnal equinox, ushering out Summer.
One of my very favourite prairie fruit is chokecherries! I have distinct memories from childhood of eating them straight from the tree, camping at the lake one summer. Drenched in chokecherry syrup is really the only way I get excited about pancakes. So this summer I made a point of learning to identify this ubiquitous prairie plant – and learn syrup making… mmmmmm
Leaves for IDing…
The harvest is in, and syrup made, thanks to the help of my visiting mom and sister (and another friendly neighbourhood blogger). 😀
They are late this year! Finally saw one perched on a neighbour’s chimney after the big rain earlier this week. In other spring signs – rhubarb is up. And this morning my dog enjoyed her first taste of new green grass for the season. 😉
At the neighbourhood park this week saw the very beginnings of buds at the branch tips of one tree – much further behind than this crowned glory, on March 31, who greets guests at the Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area trail head.