Greetings everyone! We are now at the end of autumn. The trees now have that barren look. Empty. Cold. Lonely. It’s the time when the summer birds have gone, except for a few stragglers. So it’s quiet in the forest. Nothing. Clouds dominate the landscape. Those empty branches swaying in the cold north wind. Even the wind suddenly takes on a barren, cold feel. The wind sounds so different now.
Walking through the forest now the cold bites. It makes one shiver right down to the bones. Those colorful leaves now lay scattered on the forest floor. No longer colorful. They have turned a dull brown. A light mist fills the air. The temperature is barely above freezing. Walking through the forest, it is silent. That late autumn scent is all around. It’s a nice smell though. This time of year is always so cold, cloudy and damp. It’s a lonely time walking through the forest.
Suddenly, the sound of a little squirrel. There he is, scurrying through the leaves, looking. He found his prize. A big white pine cone. Amazing that he can even carry that cone. Over to a fallen tree he goes. He sits and begins to break open the cone to retrieve those delicious seeds inside. While watching him I notice a mushroom just a short distance away. Still growing. Thriving. I keep walking. Soon I see some more mushrooms. Amazing really.
I move on once again. I hear something so stop and listen. Sure enough, not far away, a flock of chickadees and nuthatches. Soon I am surrounded by them. These little birds are so lively and cheerful. The chickadees are singing their name, while the nuthatches are calling their classic “beep, beep”. Always such great fun to watch these tiny birds. They always bring such joy into a dull, cold day. Now there is some in the spruce tree beside me. So close. If I had some sunflower seeds I’m sure they would come to my hand.
I continue with my walk and not far along I stop once more. Yes, I was right. That familiar sound, almost like a tiny bell. I look around carefully. Ah, there’s one. And another. Two ruffed grouse. Not easy to get close to these birds. There they walk, dressed in their beautiful, different shades of brown. They blend in well with their surroundings. Suddenly the burst into flight! Gone. Grouse are like a small chicken.
We are in that time of year that is so barren, cold and lonely. But there is still much beauty and wonderful life around for us to enjoy. We just need to look. But usually we focus on the barren aspects, the negative. We need to stop doing that and look on the positive aspects of each day. I admit, it can be a little hard to do this time of year up here in the north. Because it does get barren looking. And it’s going to get worse. But there is still beauty everywhere we look. But we don’t usually look close enough. Look for the beauty of each new day. It’s there. If we want to see it.
I did not actually go on this walk, I can’t walk like that just yet. Still a lot of healing to go on this latest injury. These are thoughts on a previous late autumn walk. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
© 2019 Steve McLeod.