My spot, where I sat beneath my dying tree and in the midst of my calming green field, did not show signs of significant change. My tree does not seem to have decayed much further, and the vegetation does not seem to be changing in the understory due to the cold. Once you look up, though, the green sky is now yellow. The cottonwoods and silver maples are showing signs of their age, and their leaves are starting to cover the floodplain’s floor.
Despite the color change, the calming familiarity of my spot has not been lost. The leaves are warming while the atmosphere cools, but the sound of woodpeckers can still be heard, and the chirp of a chickadee far away still lingers in the air. It must not be cold enough yet to have caused a migration, and I find it incredibly satisfying to be learning the migration patterns simply by careful observation of the land around me. To learn the way a landscape changes by watching it, not by memorizing facts and statistics, is a way of learning I haven’t had the privilege of doing yet but look forward to partaking in.
Upon this visit, not much felt very different, and in a way, that made me happy. My tree is still standing, persisting, despite the fact that its days are numbered. I am hoping I have the chance to get to know my tree before it falls, and that I have the chance to get to know my area before it freezes over for the winter and regrows to something new.