So many memories of falls past with their deep blue skies and fluorescent trees illuminated by a sun that hugs the deepened horizon.
The forest before our eyes is changing rapidly. Just six years past this rotting log was a grand old oak tree. Isabelle heard the crashing down during a May thunderstorm. Other grand trees are dying off. Many young trees are now growing, however this time they are not alone. The scene above is not a natural one. It is a scene of a forest being protected from invasive vines that threaten the young trees. Human intervention. Notice how there are few mid-sized trees. This urban Philadelphia forest has been under stress and its future is uncertain. What is new is the awareness and willingness to take action and remove the invasives. Just two years ago these young trees were cracking under the weight of invasive vines that have since been removed. Now, the picture above is the new natural.
Humans are also capable of reversing the damage made from the disturbances created from our own botanical history.
Fall is about our memories. The pleasant sweet aroma of freshly fallen leaves, the sounds of leaves beneath our feet, and our visual landscape of vibrant colors has us enchanted. We feel the moment of fall, the season, it is crisp and sound. We remember the forest.
This is our favorite spot in Morris Park. Just Follow the Morris Park Road path until it ends and there you are at the most spectacular upland forest location in Philadelphia. At peak foliage in early November it is a spectacular sight.
Illumination abounds. Every leaf a lamp, many are floating lamps that descend to the earth in such an elegant and dignified manner destined to be forest mulch.
Someday to be a leaf again.
Fall is a time to think about the big stuff- our memories have recorded the important things and the crisp air makes them come to the surface. Its so beautiful and we know its so fleeting. The cycles of nature are astounding- we are humbled by the rhythms of the seasons and their extremes. The seasons are impressed into our memories. When fall is at its most beautiful moments this is the best time to think about these concerns.
Where do we as humans fit in to these cycles of nature? Our society is so separated from nature from agriculture to entertainment, we live in a world still bent on dominating it. If we ignore nature, there it is in our face, full of trees, foxes and raccoons before we know it. We have Owls here in Morris Park, Philadelphia.
Nature is now ours to lose.
Now, just a few days later, after a rainstorm, the peak foliage of mid-fall has morphed into late fall in Morris Park. The change is dramatic and it is difficult to adjust to. It is still just as beautiful but it requires a degree of reflection and thought to appreciate this beauty. We really must use our memories and reflections to love late November. Late November is for rememberers.
Late Fall is not as exuberant as fall was a week ago. Lofty thoughts are paused as the weather gets cold and the landscape becomes increasingly stark.
However, a memory reinvigorated with deep blue skies of the past and the raining of yellow and red leaves covering the whole landscape, has us thinking…
…Nature is ours to become. Now at this point in our botanical history, we must do everything we can to protect what is the most least disturbed- like Morris Park, Philadelphia. If Aliens were to show up in a shiny spaceship and they politely asked us to show them our last 5 million years of evolution, they would be very interested in our remnant forests.
Where else would we show our galactic guests?