The view of the valley overlooking Sawmill Creek
I went outside this morning to observe everything I could in five to ten minutes. After all, life is busy around Wolf Ridge and sometimes when you remember to appreciate where we work and play you only have five to ten minutes to devote to it. I headed just outside the Science Center and found a sunny spot to sit. I opened my journal to record my thoughts:
“I hear the blades of the wind turbine louder and then quieter as they are pulled in endless circles by the wind. A wind which seems to glance across the landscape this morning, perhaps carrying secrets of warmth to come. I also hear the wind rustling the still green leaves of the aspens and birches crouched on the side of the ridge. Through breaks in the trees I can see far off across the valley that cups Sawmill Creek as if in the nook of its elbow, coaxing the beaver-stilled waters towards the Baptism River and Lake Superior beyond.
Across the valley I see mostly a steady green, an image which makes me imagine the trees as giant stalks of broccoli. Interrupting my vegetable fantasy are the stark white trunks of the birch trees, staunchly holding their limbs skywards. I turn my focus to the ground beneath me, thinking now of roots amongst turmoil. As summer rolls with determination towards its close I imagine how the rocks beneath my feet have felt the footsteps of hundreds of curious humans this season, and how the changes in the landscape as autumn arrives will bring with them thousands of new humans- most experiencing this ground for just a few sunrises. As naturalists we seek a feeling of rooted, groundedness- to sit still and listen as the rhythms and patterns of nature orchestrate their symphony around us and within us. And yet change unfolds on smaller scales every moment, just as it does on larger scales each season.
My gaze falls now on a scruffy patch of Bird’s Foot Trefoil making its way towards the sun out of a bed of gravel. As I take in its lemony petals and ponder its existence as an “invasive”, it is visited by one bee, then two, nosing their way in and out from flower to flower. I see, too, a bush in the woods already sporting the bright red leaves of change. I leave with more questions than sureties, reminding myself that to be rooted is not to find answers but to observe and be open to experiences found in being present in the nature we inhabit.”