Autumn: Change for thought
As the leaves fall, let's think of how we affect the planet.
Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 23:29
It's autumn again. The leaves are turning a bright red hue, the air has a different feel and scent to it and the migrations of many birds have begun. Fall is a time of children tumbling into the plethora of leaves piled at the ends of driveways and of my personal favorite, apple cider. But as I stand outside my dorm looking out on the horizon and the sparkling salty waters of Bar Harbor, I find myself pondering the anthropogenic changes wrought on this planet.
Do we stop to think about the alterations people have made to the different habitats in the world? This past weekend I went on an ecology field trip and ventured through different islands where early settlers built homes and established bustling towns. Our class stayed overnight on Gotts Island, where the remnants of the first settlers seem to have vanished from the face of the Earth. I could see how the landscape in certain areas looked altered; in the middle of a pine forest we walked on top of an old foundation for a summer cottage. It amazes me how people, so small and powerless when compared to the forces of the ocean and of nature in general, could clear such a dense landscape in order to build a house. What strikes me even more is just how fast nature reclaims its territory after such houses are abandoned. In some parts of the foundation, only patches of stone flooring were visible. If I did not look closely, the ground looked normal and undisturbed by human hands. Just as autumn sweeps in to prepare the way for winter, so does nature brutally take back what is rightfully hers. The leaves continue to fall, one by one, with the winds ever changing.
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