The seasons are changing, as denoted by the changing theme of the NewsViews home page. The days get shorter, the light rays get longer, and are soon to be featured dappling through the trees, drawing attention to the kaleidoscope of color that is autumn.
The official change happens on Wednesday, September 22, but already nature is calling me for some long walks through some of our bounteous, beauteous trails here in my region, as the maples, birch, and beech turn red, yellow, and bronze.
But nothing in our trails and deeper forests compare to the General Sherman and his cousins in California’s Sequoia National Park.
General Sherman is a giant among giants, estimated to be 2,500 years old, give or take a couple hundred, and is currently the world’s largest living tree known. Standing nearly 275 feet with a maximum diameter of over 36 feet, he is magnificent.
The giant sequoia is named for Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman, a true civil war hero, known for being credited with the saying “war is hell.” Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground in order to break the spirit of the Confederate Army.
And now, ironically, the General Sherman of Sierra Nevada fame, is wrapped in fire-resistant blankets against the burning hell that is the Colony fire, one of two wildfires threatening the sequoias.
Granted, it’s not easy to kill a giant sequoia, as they have faced numerous wildfires and droughts throughout the centuries, but will they survive unprecedented climate change and its increasing dangers of more extreme and destructive weather and wildfires?
I hope to take the time this season to absorb the familiar beauty, it’s visual vibrance and the woodsy, earthy aromas of autumn as it prepares to blanket Earth with her natural, protective mulch. Who knows what changes our future changing seasons will hold?
Today I’ll leave you with some ideas for Mulled Cider, which I’ve found stays warm and cozy on a chilly day inside a copper mule mug.
To approximately 6-8 cups of fresh apple cider in a crock pot or warming pan, add your choices of the following items, and be sure to allow time for the spices to develop:
2-4 cinnamon sticks
3 anise stars
1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves
chunks of ginger root
slices of orange or a handful of cranberries
a touch of honey
*Use cheesecloth for a spice sachet
*Spike with your choice of bourbon, brandy, or spiced rum
Cheers, friends, make a good Friday, a great weekend, and a memorable Autumn! It’s 5:00 Somewhere, enjoy your free chat time here.