Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Squirrels and Sunshine

Have you noticed the days are getting shorter? Do you know this because you can feel it or because you saw the sunset time on the Weather Channel?

The squirrels in my back yard know a new season is coming and they’re already gathering nuts (or whatever it is they gather) in preparation for the end of growing season. Clock-addicted urban dwellers are often oblivious to changing season and other natural cycles of life and we need calendars and clocks to remind us of these things.

When did we lose our naturals instincts?

After moving out to the country a few years ago, I began to notice things I hadn’t noticed before. I started to feel longer and shorter days, not because of cues from my clock-based schedule but just because I could feel a difference. I could see changes in habits of birds that visit feeders in the back yard; in fact I learned that different birds visit at different times of the year. I can feel subtle temperature changes too.

I’m not a naturalist by any stretch, but I appreciate my newfound better connection to nature. I still want to move back to a city, but if I ever do, I might be one of the few people on the block who can sense seasonal change without hearing about it from Jim Cantore first.

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