Monday, August 22, 2011
Fueling Up for the Winter
As summer draws to a close, it is time to fuel up for the winter. As I wander in my yard, I see creatures big and small desperately fueling up from the largesse brought by long days and the miracle of photosynthesis. Soon, my favorites, the hummingbirds will head south, with reserves of fat fueled by nectar from flowers in my yard and others. Bees and other hymenoptera, are the most conspicuous feeders this time of year, as their numbers max out and the term “busy as a bee” aligns perfectly with the reality you see in nature.
Butterflies, dragonflies, hawkmoths, hoverflies and just about every other creature feast and mate, mate and feast, eat and get eaten, and pay little attention to the big, clumsly, bi-pedal hominid harvesting his own largesse. I fuel up as well. I look to this time of year to maximize the quality of nutrition my body will receive. Fresh, pesticide free tomatoes, grapes, blackberries, beets, beans, soybeans, peppers, squash, etc. add levels of nutrition that will be hard to replicate in winter. So hopefully, like the hummingbirds, I will have enough stores to make it through another winter.
Though hummers will hang out in Mexico, my hangout will be in my man-cave downstairs, with my remote in hand, watching football (go Utes) or other things sedentary, waiting for the seasonal change to longer days and a return to the flourish of life in my outdoor abode. I hope the quality and quantity of fuel will get through another winter. More people perish in winter than other times of year. There are reasons for this. So making it to another spring is a celebration of survival. But for now, I will join my fellow eukaryotes, and follow the patterns tread since the dawn of time.
One of the joys of being human is the blessing of a life expectancy that allows us the privilege of watching the seasonal cycles many times. And enjoy each cycle we must, for we never know when this will be our last summer, or fall, spring, or winter. So I’ll savor every garden fresh tomato. There is no guarantee I’ll be enjoying them next year. But if I eat enough of them and other nutritionally rich foods, I hope to increase the probability, that this won’t be my last re-fueling for the winter.