The Turning of the Year
A note from the ACRES Quarterly editor
ACRES Quarterly Editor Carol Roberts reflects on the changing of the seasons, encouraging readers to connect with nature this fall. What changes signal “the turning of the year” for you?
As a child, I loved hearing my grandparents talk about “the turning of the year.” I understood this “turning” as the autumn wind turning leaves red and blowing them off the great maple in our front yard. In the fields behind our house I wandered through goldenrod, sumac, and milkweed, accompanied by bees and butterflies, and the singing of crickets and katydids. Because my mother loved wildflowers and wild creatures, I learned their names, and what to look for in each season, though I had no sense of the significance of what I was learning.
Now I’m listening for the calls of gabbling geese, and the barred owls’ questions echoing through cold starry nights. And I hope to hear again the scratching, raspy cries of Sandhill Cranes flying high above, following the curve of Cedar Creek toward their winter grounds. Between two and five years of age, cranes select their mates, then remain paired for decades. At summer’s end, parents and their young depart the nest territory and join flocks at a staging area—Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area in Indiana—in preparation for southerly migration.
In our world of diminishing contacts with nature, remember your own memories of the year “turning”, and make new memories. Walk in an ACRES preserve where you can know autumn in your eyes and ears and nose and entire being.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 ACRES Quarterly, mailed to members each season. The 20-page Quarterly features ACRES news, stories and events. You can subscribe by becoming an ACRES member with a donation of $20 or more. Click here to learn more!
(Top photo by Cara Maroney)