Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Fall Colours & Helping Mother Nature – October 21, 2011

Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Fall Colours & Helping Mother Nature – October 21, 2011
CFN – We are well into the Fall season as evidenced by the bright maroon leaves of the sumacs barely holding onto their places of birth with the recent onslaught of rain and wind.
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These leaves will soon let go of their branches to take part in the next cycle of their journey.
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These leafy forms will be devoured by the elements, insects and worms to nourish and replenish vital nutrients and minerals to our living earth.  Depending on the quantity of leaves in a particular area, these may provide heat producing little compost piles which can and will provide little microclimates for small animals and insects to sustain and grow during the winter period.
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Mother Nature is an amazing capable provider when left without man’s intrusion.
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We often interfere with the natural order of things for the sake of having perfectly manicured grass lawns or flower beds.  In an effort to help mother nature along in the manner she so engineered we would like to pass along the following tips.

If you haven’t already cut down the seeded, dying perennial flower growth left in your garden we suggest leaving the seed heads on your plants for winter forage for our bird and small animal population.  Birds will often feed on seeds supplied by your perennial plants.

Rake up and use your leaves for winter cover around your perennial plants.  They will provide insulation against the coldest of winter days and will provide nourishment to your plants and beneficial insects as the plant material decays.  The leaf debris will also retain the heat and moisture around the plant when spring revisits.

Instead of throwing cut or fallen branches to the curb for garbage pick-up consider leaving a pile in an open area to provide temporary or permanent cover for smaller creatures to use as cover during the winter season.  There are many creatures that make our lives more interesting and fun; this small gesture may encourage some of these creatures to visit during our coldest days.

Kindly consider taking a few moments to clean up the debris which can sometimes be found in the most unusual places.  I had come across this tree with a huge piece of commercial packing plastic, about 3’ x 16’ which had probably taken flight from a garbage can and come to rest in a small tree.  The junction of this image was a place I passed almost on a daily basis.  A piece of plastic stuck in a natural environment is just unsightly and can sometimes adversely affect a life of an innocent creature.  I know we all have busy lives, places to go, people to see and that perpetual “to-do” list.  Stepping up and doing what needs to be done, will make you feel good, serve your extended community and perhaps avoid a dangerous situation from a foreign object in a natural environment.

Is the plastic still in the tree?  Well…I passed that site a least a dozen times, always with some place to go, someone to see.  I finally did stop.  Walked through the ditch, hopped the fence and maneuvered the plastic from the grips of that tree.  It is a much brighter site now.  Now if only our County recycled this plastic.  Ummmmmmmmmmmm.  Who would like to step up to look after that project?

Your commentary is always welcome and appreciated below or to earthmatters@cornwallfreenews.com

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