Every season is special, but for me, fall is my favorite time to collect nature’s treasures. After all, everything is ripe. Still, I’m careful (and grateful) to gather only the fallen and the abandoned.
Most of my gathering takes place as I walk to work (in the business office of an assisted living community). It’s a flat 1.3 mile route on the town portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail. The first half is in my neighborhood, and the other half is along the ditch across from the schools.
I LOVE my morning walk. Sentinels of the Olympic Mountains rise to the left of me, a marine layer often hugs the horizon to the right, and a wide open prairie sky is filled with more birds than I’ll ever find in my field guide.
Recently I was disappointed to notice what I thought was paper litter along the ditch. But when I looked more closely I noticed that the sheets of paper were the outer layers of a huge wasp nest. I found a section of the papery nest cells with 2 levels still attached to each other. I HAD to have it. So I made sure it was completely unoccupied and carefully carried it to work.
My poor bemused colleagues… they never know what I’m going to bring into the office. For awhile, it was fallen birch branches because I was whittling wands. Then, the acorns, and the bonus oak branches with acorns still attached. And of course, there are a never ending assortment of seedpods, bird feathers, and leaves. Oh my goodness, the leaves!
The REAL fun is to sort what I gather, and maybe even carve new life into something that has fulfilled its mission.
Take a walk, pick up some bits and pieces, and marvel at something real. I promise it will make you feel better!