Friday, October 18, 2013

Seasonal changes

This morning's Star Tribune has an interesting article about sandhill cranes staging at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge for their southward migration. The trip written about occurred at the end of September, which is about the time we started noticing a growing scarcity of local cranes. This is getting to be like a detective story or a jig saw puzzle sorting out clues and fitting pieces together. The fact that sandhill cranes are resurgent in Minnesota definitely goes on the plus side. On the minus side we can put the cancellation of the Beargrease sled dog race. A sign of the economic and climatic times?

photo of flock of sandhill cranes feeding
flock of sandhill cranes feeding            © harrington

This picture was taken at the end of August of this year. I'm now guessing that it represents several local families flocking up prior to heading for a larger staging area in mid-to late September. Speaking of Autumnal migrations, we've been meaning to ask if you've seen any woolly bear caterpillars this Autumn. We haven't seen any yet and that seems unusual. Yet another seasonal change occurs next week. It's the final week of this year's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with the Women's Environmental Institute Farm at Amador Hill. It's been fun and challenging trying to keep up with the amount of fresh vegetables that has arrived each week for the past several months. Some of us have found new recipes to make tasty use of veggies we used to despise (who said zucchini?). Even so, we occasionally felt overwhelmed by the daunting quantity and variety of produce provided. Maybe next year we'll forego a CSA share and try local farmer's markets instead (or not, we'll see).


One of the great things about My Minnesota is the local food production and delivery system. We have CSA's, farmer's markets, urban agriculture, food coops, gleaning, organic and local family (not industrial) farms and the magazine Edible Twin Cities to help us keep track of it all. Plus, we're one of the most literate and literature-supporting places in the country. We enjoy a surfeit of riches, more than enough to keep sane people happy. T.E. Hulme's poem Autumn captures much of this season of changes in language reminiscent of Minnesotan Robert Bly.

Autumn

By T. E. Hulme 

A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.

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