The Fall To-Do List

Plant bulbs and hope you’ll see spring.
Watch celestial showers – Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids.
Observe wildlife change habits as the trees
change colors. Practice being an evergreen.
Feel the equinox and balance straight up.

Photo by Artem Saranin on

I do make many (too many) lists of things to do. I have written about this addiction. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it hurts. I even have seasonal lists of things I need to do in the garden or around the house. A season changes and I change the filters in my furnace and air-conditioning system. Frost comes and I dig up the dead and dying annuals, rake leaves, and add them to the compost.

A group emailed me a list of things to do in autumn. It has lots of the usual things: leaf peeping, apple picking, making and eating fall comfort foods, carving pumpkins, and jumping in leaf piles. But some things on my fall list don’t appear there.

How the Earth’s tilt creates the seasons

Rings and Whorls

Around the redwood, a fairy ring emerges – 
children of the parent tree, now scorched
to two-hundred feet and still showing sprouts.
Its growth rings will show damaged days.
Like the whorls of my aging fingerprints.

I wrote elsewhere about the similarity of fingerprints and tree rings. They are not really as similar as they might appear. Fingerprints stay very much the same, while trees create a new ring each year and they vary quite a bit, showing fire, drought, competition for sunlight or nutrients, and damage by natural or human causes. But still, looking at them side by side they do seem to have some connection.

I do like the word “whorls” which means a pattern of spirals or concentric circles and is used in describing and identifying fingerprints – and seems like a good word to describe tree rings too.

tree rings — fingerprint