Sunday, October 31, 2010

From the Canyons: Fall Musings

I live on the breaks between the Grande Ronde and Minam-Wallowa rivers. From here, I watch the seasons roll by - September warm fall days to October's seemingly endless rain. When it's not raining, the dampness in the air settles into fog nestled along creeks and rivers.

In October our masonry stove gets dusted off, cleaned out, and fired up in the evenings to take the chill off. It's a time for laying in firewood on the front covered patio and stapling plastic on the wrap-around porch. Settling in and hunkering down before winter's cold.

Most of the migrating birds have left; no more meadowlarks or house wrens or bluebirds until next spring. Chickadees, pine siskins and nuthatches still raid the sunflower seeds, but I only need to fill the birdfeeder every week now instead of every day.

Deer are back now that hunting has diminished, and grouping together in larger herds. "Wild" turkeys have reappeared and increasingly large flocks sometimes block the road on our morning commute. I'm seeing and hearing more owls at night.

Fall is also the time for gatherings of people - cider pressings, annual meetings, and the HCPC fall Gala. The question raised by this year's speaker was what are we doing about the coming catastrophe of climate change. Good question to ask. The way I see it, everyone will have (and should have) a different answer - dependent on where and how we live, what our resources are, what resources we use. If we care for where we live, the exact places we see every day, that seems like a good place to start. Caring for our neighborhood, our watershed. Bringing resilience back to the lands we inhabit, whether pulling invasive weeds, planting native species, creating wildlife habitat, buying local foods, protecting local wild areas, or supporting those who do the same.

It seems that, as the Gala speaker pointed out, we must think globally and act politically. I believe we must also act locally. Inspired by the places we know and love, we can change where we live, and be a contributing part of a bigger watershed.

Hope to see you at the Ladd Creek restoration planting on Nov. 6th. And please don't forget to vote.

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