Autumn Means…

We know why we call fall…Fall.

It’s the season when things…fall.

  • leaves fall
  • temperature falls
  • night falls earlier
  • blooms fall
  • seeds fall
  • shadows fall
  • rain falls
  • sap falls
  • snow falls
  • summer wear falls into disuse

But, why do we call Fall…Autumn?

It would seem that no one knows for certain!

Autumn appears to have fallen from the Latin word auctumnus, which refers to increase…or perhaps even harvest.

Harvest – now there’s a fitting word for the season that falls after Summer.

And that’s exactly what I did last Thursday, the day before the first killing freeze of this season struck. I harvested EVERYTHING edible in the garden.

It’s hard to look at the fallen garden.  Tomato plants, now dead black, lie withered on the ground. Burnt and blackened peas and bean plants stand ready to fall.  Okra…my beloved okra…my fallen okra….

When I saw the garden two days after the killing freeze, my heart joined the fallen.

“Fall is fitting,” I think as I scuff my feet through fallen leaves that will soon bury the fallen of the garden.

Yes…Fall fits especially well – “fall back” Sunday is this weekend.

Don’t forget to fall back from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. 😉

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Spring’s Winters

Redbuds trees are blooming.

Finally!

Accustomed to early Spring in the DEEP South, after 30+ years life experience there, I’ve found it difficult to adjust to the delayed Spring here even though this is where I spent the first 20 years of my life.

As a child, I grew up to the various “Winters” of Spring.

  1. Pear tree winter
  2. Redbud winter
  3. Dogwood winter
  4. Locust winter
  5. Blackberry winter

The temperature would rise to Spring-like warmth and various plants would break bud, show color and then a cold snap would hit and we would experience Winter again for several days.

This year the Winters of Spring have been delayed.  And, so has Spring’s floral parade.

Redbud trees should have bloomed weeks ago. Dogwoods should be in regal attire by now.  But, Redbuds are experiencing their first blush as Dogwood buds swell with promise.

Pear Winter has come and gone.  Pear trees, still bearing white blossoms, are showing green as new leaves begin their growth.

Redbud winter can be checked off the list and this next week of Springtime warmth will prompt a quick response in the remaining actors in Spring’s display.

If the rain holds long enough and the ground drys fast enough, I’ll get the garden tilled this week, or next, and begin working it in preparation for planting.  Some things can go into the ground after Dogwoods bloom.  Other things, like tender tomatoes, will wait until Blackberry winter passes.

Moving is an adjustment on all counts – and even more so when so much of who you are and what you do is in tune with where you are in the seasons of the year.  For the past 30+ years I’ve experienced Spring’s arrival by the end of February and planting season by the first of April.  “Easter Freeze” was considered the last opportunity for a wintery snap that could threaten tender growth – that is, as long as Easter came in March and didn’t wait until April.

If I’m in tune with the seasons, I’m in tune with life – and find that when my rhythm matches that of nature around me, I’m happiest and most productive.

I’ve clicked off Redbud winter and am watching the local Dogwoods for color.  And, I’m beginning preparations for the period of growth ahead.  I want to move with nature, in sync, in harmony, enjoying the rhythm of life and the living of it.