autumn – the season of preparation
How come dying is so beautiful?
Autumn signifies the end of the growing season, and the beginning of hibernation. What follows is a long stretch of temperatures so low that if ice crystals are allowed to form, cells burst and die; days so dark that growth is reduced to nearly nothing; and grounds so dry due to all the water being locked up in ice that even if there was sunlight, photosynthesis couldn’t occur.
It’s the stressful preparation for winter that we find so beautiful. Trees collect valuable materials from their leaves, and then shed them. There’s a word in Finnish for the colours that are revealed when the green is taken away: ruska. There are also a lot of things happening that aren’t as obvious to us humans. Many plant species only survive winter by relying on their seeds in the ground, many retract to their roots. Animals also have a wide array of ways to prepare for winter: cold-blooded animals (like snakes and frogs) find a warm place to hibernate in, for instance under leaves or compost, and some mammals prepare for their winter rest by finding a den where they give birth in the middle of winter (like brown bears).
I, on the other hand, prepare for winter by being outside in the sun as much as possible and immortalizing the beautiful colours of autumn – I wish I could also catch the smells, but the camera sensor doesn’t seem to manage that.
This is part one in my series about Finnish seasons. Enjoy!
Fallen autumn leaves in a rotten stump – to think that that could be beautiful…
A lot of berries demand a night or two of sub-zero temperature to become ripe.
Autumn is also one of the best times to be camping – it’s still not too cold, but the mosquitoes are gone! Sometimes, the mornings might be a bit gloomy, though.
This boat has covered itself with fallen leaves – it looks quite well-prepared.
Some days, the colours are absolutely striking – the reds and yellows of the decidous trees and the greens of the evergreens shine in the sunshine under a bright blue sky. Perfect hiking weather!
Mushrooms. Let’s not forget mushrooms! These fungal reproductive organs pop up everywhere during autumn. Many are delicious, many are beautiful and many of the really beautiful ones are poisonous.
And then, before you know, the change comes…