happy equinox everyone!
today marks the first day of astronomical autumn–the autumnal equinox. the earth spins on a tilted axis as the planet orbits the sun. but twice in the course of that yearlong trip around the sun, the earth is not inclined toward or away from the sun, and the sun shines directly at the equator. each of those instances is an equinox, which is derived from the latin words for equal (aequus) and night (nox). and at the 45th parallel, where minneapolis sits, that means almost exactly 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of darkness.
as if on cue, our temps dropped 20 degrees from 88 yesterday, to 68 degrees today. and this sumac i picked this morning on my drive home from my mom’s. so, while it’s mostly coincidence, today looks like fall, it feels like fall, and it (astronomically) is fall. there is no room for doubt, fall is here.
red stag sumac in fall colors
wisdom as old as the planet
this clever little plant can bioaccumulate a number of metals, and is being used to clean up spoiled copper mines. it is my belief that everything we need to heal our environment is already here. we just need to quit doing more damage long enough for the planet to heal itself. after having just watched my husband be too impatient to rest his injured elbow following a tennis injury, before getting back on the court, i am trying to find empathy with our collective lack of progress in addressing climate change. change is hard. i guess we will have to take an ambulance to the ER before we truly give it a rest.
asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis)
a love of learning
for the first 9 years of doing STILL, i thought goldenrod was goldenrod was goldenrod. abundant. and often confused with ragweed. then this past year, i learned that minnesota has as many as 18 types of native goldenrods. what? 18 types of goldenrod*. with maybe a dozen of them in and around the twin cities. really? how is it that i could not have noticed this? STILL is all about noticing, after all. so, i started looking more carefully. and sure enough…there they are. everywhere. this selection of four types was from just one field this morning! i was so excited when i came home with my armful goldenrod this morning. i learned something new today. and i am beginning to realize that learning new things if one of my greatest joys. today was a good day x 4.
4 types of goldenrod: stiff leafed, broad leafed, showy, and canadian goldenrod (Solidago)
*goldenrod is native to north america, with almost 120 varieties.
transitioning to autumn
we are approaching the autumnal equinox on september 22, which is the astrological autumn. meteorological autumn started on september 1st. either way, autumn is upon us. morning dew, from warm days and cool nights, is one of my many indicators that autumn is here. i love these transition weeks. it looks like summer, but feels like fall with delicious crispness to the air, low-angle golden sun, and wrap-around sunsets. speaking of crispness, it is also apple season here in the north. and pumpkin bread season, and spiced latte season. and harvest the honey season, and replenish the firewood season. all of these autumn rituals bring a smile to my face. the only autumn indicator i am truly sad about, is that any day now, our resident sandhill cranes will be joining their kin and flying south. i hear them calling their other-wordly prehistoric calls every morning…i think they are looking for overhead flocks to join. they have been such sweet company this summer. i will miss them dearly. and steve and i will be literal empty nesters.
asters, take 2
another take on yesterday’s asters. more white space. more breathing room. more STILL-like. still asters.
new england asters