The Medicine of Fall Colours

I’ve been thinking of “fall colours.” These pale greens, for instance.

Or these pale. yellows, oranges, purples and pinks… and pale greens. Look, though, how the undercover is bright and lush. That’s a “fall colour” too.

Such is the black spruce forest floor at 1084 metres, a day before snow. Each species has its own shade, which matches precisely its growing conditions and what compounds it delivered to its leaves, and when.

If you were going to forage for medicinals, now would be the time: not to gather leaves, perhaps, but to gather a reading of the year.

Look how this carpet is following a swathe of light through the trees. 

In other words, it is following a tree long gone to soil, perhaps, or a community of fungus, or both.

If it’s the fungus, it is linked individually to all of these plants…

…completing the communication of nutrients between them…

…and between them and the trees.

In other words, this is not random, but created; it has deliberate pattern.

That means one can enter it.

It is organic, in the way a poem is organic, or consciousness.

And like them it creates consciousness.

Call that medicine.

Call that speech. Given that we who walk into this forest are just as bound within this net, I would even call it art.


All images from Big Bar Lake.

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