By Beth Sullivan
When it comes to temperatures and “feeling the season” I think we will all admit a bit of seasonal confusion again this year. The first days of November were warm, even hot by many standards. I am not complaining about being warm, by any means, but it is a little frightening to notice the shift, and these changes are getting more obvious. Flora and fauna are responding by changing their cycles, and some of them are truly life threatening. I think of the spotted salamander I found while gardening on November 1 and hope it found a place to dig under before we had some heavier frosts on the following mornings. It is hard on everything to go from 70 degrees to hard winter freezing temperatures all in a couple of days or hours.
Another change I am noticing is that the commercial seasons are shifting as well. The little orange orbs were quickly removed from the shops and were replaced immediately by red and green ones. Christmas has now leaped to the day after Halloween. That is something I will complain about. It’s mostly because I enjoy the slow advance toward the big holidays, as much as I wish the seasons advanced more gently.
I can get quite disheartened by the barrenness I know is coming, but I am sure to enjoy the new visibility in the woodlands, the new birds that arrive at our feeders, and the relief from gardening duties. I enjoy thinking about Thanksgiving, and yes, I do start early. I host our family dinner, and the family is growing by big leaps and bounds. But as we start to think of what we are grateful for on this day , we are also bombarded by the ideas of Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday. While it is often about gift giving for the upcoming BIG HOLIDAY, it is all about the shopping and the deals.
|Hopefully this spotted salamander has burrowed more deeply.|
|At least this red and green are appropriate.|
|Not really feeling like November, is it?|
There is one more day added to the week of named holidays: Giving Tuesday. After we have celebrated with family and friends, then shopped and congratulated ourselves on the great gift deals we got, it is time to sit back and think of a different kind of giving: giving back in our community. #Giving Tuesday is now a global initiative, and it harnesses the power of generosity in communities around the world. There are so very many worthy causes to support right now. Each of us has our personal passion, and often more than one. We are in a time, right now, as we are heading into elections, where we need to know our one vote makes a difference, now and forever, in relation to the environment. It is under siege right now with preserved land being threatened, and open space being gobbled up and developed. We do have an opportunity, immediately, to Vote YES on question #2 which will add a layer of protection to our state-owned open space. It is also time to think where your candidates, on all levels, stand on the environment. Vote your conscience. Giving Tuesday can be Election Tuesday this year.
Sometimes we feel that we ourselves cannot do enough, or make a big enough difference in how we try and protect our home, our environment. Maybe you can’t think or act on a grand scale, but you can help on a local level and every single bit of help counts. That’s where #Giving Tuesday comes in to play. Your individual contribution to a cause may not feel like a lot of impact, but when joined with the efforts and donations of others, it does add up. It makes a difference.
Avalonia Land Conservancy operates locally, possibly in your town and even possibly in your neighborhood. In order to keep some things from changing, we need your help. To keep your local woodlands open for the next generations to explore, you can make a difference. To protect our waterways and keep them clean for drinking water and wildlife, you can make a difference. By contributing, large or small, you combine with everyone else who shares your concern for our local landscape and you WILL make a difference.
The official Giving Tuesday is just one day, November 27 th this year. You can add your voice to others as a contribution on that day itself. But it can be a season of giving, a year of giving, a habit of helping and in return you get back so much.
Please think of Avalonia on Giving Tuesday, and think of your future as well. Give yourself a gift.
|The witch hazel blooms late, but usually the leaves are off when it does.|
|Avalonia preserves the landscapes, habitats, and wildlife they support.|
|We want to ensure our waterways run clear and clean for the future.|
|Think of what you can give to the next generation by supporting our conservation efforts. Photograph by Rick Newton.|
Photographs by Beth Sullivan unless otherwise indicated.
Don't forget to select Avalonia Land Conservancy as your Amazon Smile charity.