Letter from Publisher




Peggy Malecki

I’m pausing to take it all in. Before sitting down to write you this month, I took a quick tour of the yard, which is transitioning to fall. I’d say it’s been an unusual weather year, yet each year now is even more out of the norm. In mid-October, we’re still harvesting tomatoes, peppers and greens, and two melons remain on the vine, as do straggling cucumbers. But signs of mid-autumn also surrounded me. It’s been a banner year for acorns and tree nuts, and the squirrels and chipmunks have had their fill, leaving thousands of unclaimed treasures scattered about. Rather than raking them away, I’m leaving the nuts in place, where they’ll become a welcome food source for the critters come February.

       No matter if the winter is harsh or mild, the bugs, bees, birds and other creatures that share our yards need winter food, water sources and protection. There are a few simple things we can do to build and maintain winter habitat for them. Did you know, for example, that bumblebee and other native bee queens reside underground in winter (they do not live in hives like European honeybees)? By letting leaves and fallen twigs stay in our garden spaces rather than raking or blowing them away, we can easily create hiding places for the beneficial insects and non-migrating pollinators that call our area home. Fallen leaves are also a great source of free mulch to protect garden plants from harsh winter winds and dryness, and they’ll serve as organic fertilizer next year, too.

       This fall, try leaving perennial stalks in place with seed heads for the winter birds. If you need to trim, try to leave about 18 inches of stalk as a place for insects to hide. They’ll add interest to the garden space when the frost and snows come. Twig piles, extra logs and other remnants of summer are also beneficial to leave in place.

       We’re in that in-between season, enjoying the days before the holiday dazzle starts in earnest. It’s a perfect time to take a reflective breath and express quiet gratitude for all of the gifts and experiences we’ve been given this year. Good or not-so-pleasant, each moment weaves into our life’s tapestry and gives us an experience to be thankful for.

       Rather than seeing missteps and losses as roadblocks, we can gain a different perspective when we focus on the new roads they send us to travel. It seems we can so much better appreciate joy in our lives if we have experienced sadness, as well. And we can look much more to the spring if we remember the details in the autumn decline and go with the flow.

Wishing you a colorful autumn and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Peggy

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Letter from The Publisher

It’s midsummer, and through my open office window, I can hear the cicadas buzzing their occasional chorus, a wave of sound that crescendos through the trees, the rise and fall of their songs marking the progress of the season.

Letter from The Publisher

We’re moving into the height of summer produce season here in the Midwest, and I can hardly wait!

Letter from The Publisher

Hey Chicago, it’s June! And after a crazy spring that just couldn’t seem to shake the winter grays and chill, let’s roll out the welcome mat and greet the summer.

Letter from The Publisher

Each year, I anticipate the calm, sunny mornings in May when I can finally have the windows open and wake to the sounds of spring birdsong.

Letter from The Publisher

Once upon a time, several work lives ago, I visited a small Asian restaurant in Toronto named something akin to Tiger Lily, located close to downtown on a street with a lot of other small shops and places to grab a quick dinner.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Seasonal Vegetable Recipes from Prairie Wind Family Farm

Gain Tips on Getting Refreshing Sleep

Licensed Acupuncturist Amy Landolt helps people reclaim their sleep with her Get Some Shut Eye method, which incorporates acupuncture, essential oils, herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes.

Discover the Infinite Wisdom of the Akashic Records

Dr. Linda Howe, founder of the Center for Akashic Studies, in Oak Park, and author of the book How to Read the Akashic Records, has designed the Akashic Records Online On-Demand Certification Program.

Take a Vacation from Time and Space

Tranquil Waters Float is a 2,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art, family-run float spa that offers the best float experience possible, with four spacious, private float rooms.

Beyond Maria: Coming Together to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico

Luis Mendez and Waleska Sallaberry, the publishers of Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico (PR) edition for the past 15 years, have a simple request: “Please help us rebuild.”

Onion Garden Brings Healthy Gourmet Food to the Table

The Onion Garden, located in downtown Highland Park, offers health-minded diners a fresh alternative to options typically available from catering services.