The true meaning of this date every year symbolizes the death of the old crop cycle in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of a new cycle. Trees are dormant and the earth rests and regenerates itself until the spark of life returns in February at the time of Imbolc.
Attention climate change deniers: Blossoms on a tree on the last day of autumn 2012 in western New York! Our unusually mild weather this month has totally confused this tree. The winter storm predicted for tomorrow should put a quick end to the confusion.
I love these petite and graceful gulls. They breed in Canada during the summer and spend the winter in the deep south, the Caribbean, and oddly around the southeastern portions of the Great Lakes. In winter their black heads turn white with a dark smudge behind the eye.