For man, autumn is a time of harvest,
of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing,
of scattering abroad.
~Edwin Way Teale
Most of us know that autumn’s winds are scatterers and sowers designed to achieve part of nature’s plans, but until I read Teale’s lines and did some research I wasn’t aware of the full and vital extent of what the winds scatter far and wide. It’s fairly obvious that the presence of autumn leaves on the ground protects things from damage that comes as a result of fewer hours of light and bitterly cold temperatures. What I didn’t know until now is that because cold, dry winter winds strip moisture from trees through their leaves, trees lose their leaves as a means of protecting themselves. In that way leafless trees can conserve the much needed moisture in their branches and trunks so they don’t dry out and die. Another consideration is that energetically it would be very costly for trees to keep their little leafy food factories up and running in winter because the fewer hours of sunlight and freezing temperatures are less efficient and make the transport of water from the ground into the trunk and leaves a damaging drain on the trees’ resources. The loss of leaves then is designed to put trees into a state of dormancy thereby reducing the amount of energy they need to stay alive; essentially the process sends leafless trees into a life-preserving hibernation during the winter months. What a grand plan! How can a day not be a marvel when confronted with such grand plans? The older I get the more constant a state of marvel I live in, and the more I adore Creation’s Maker.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God. ~Deuteronomy 32:3 ✝