Monday, October 5, 2009

A Walk for Oranges

My personal practice Adventure has changed slightly over the past week to involve more napping and less... practice. As most places I've read recommend to avoid yoga practice if you feel achy and fever-y, all of last week I have been healing. Today, I was torn between the vestiges of the sunny weather and practicing in our apartment. The sun and Fall colours won out! My mission (as I'm terrible at walking just because) was to find true Maritime Fall colours. (The only orange tree I could find near our apartment- the potential! Most trees outside the city are like this)

I never truly appreciated our Fall colours in Nova Scotia until I moved to British Colombia. Where the leaves only turn yellow. Yellow?? Where are the oranges, rusts and reds? How I missed the cacophony of colours as if the entire forests were on fire. Instead, I saw green pine trees (with many burnt orange pine trees that died from the pine beetle infestation) and yellow birch.

Having grown up in a tiny village, I had no idea that Halifax was the exception to the beautiful reds and oranges of the province. Instead I see that most of the trees have these ugly brown spots on their leaves, almost as if the pollution was eating away at the green. In the spring all the leaves are a fresh new green and within a few months they have all transformed into the brown freckled version. In the Fall that translates as no reds, oranges or yellows. Just mostly browns. (The brown dying leaves)

After a preliminary search online I only found some references to leaf blights and an entertaining 1979 Halifax Field Naturalists Newsletter. In the newsletter they reported that citizens were noticing Brown spots on some of the elm leaves and were debating the merit of spraying with insecticides all the trees in the city. It's almost ridiculous the logic and blind faith the article has in the toxicology and safety of these insecticides. Here's a quote:

"The whole debate is basically a matter of a minor point of aesthetics concerning a small proportion of the city trees with conspicuous brown patches on their leaves. versus a feeling of unease that a few people have about a mixture of chemicals being blown about the streets. A chemical mixture which moreover has been certified as safe for use in these circumstances by experts on chemicals."

Oh my, so interesting to read that article (which ultimately came to the conclusion that long term safety was unknown and thus unsafe) and realizing how much they didn't know. Which naturally leads to the ridiculousness of our current claims of safety and artificial "cures". There is so much we don't know about our world and our influence.

One of the downfalls of modern science is it's micro-approach to each individual question. This narrow, SUPER specific study often misses how each component interacts dynamically and thus is ultimately unable to predict reliable outcomes. For example, in BC there are areas where trees flourish and thrive in relatively nitrogen deplete soil. It has long been known how the salmon depend on the cool shaded rivers for nutrients and safety, however just recently it was discovered that the trees need the salmon too. The wildlife eat the salmon and distribute the nitrogen rich remains throughout the forests as a result, nourishing the trees themselves (p. 194 A Sacred Balance by David Suzuki). (My favourite picture- I love how you can see the cross between the branches)

Despite my sadness at missing the Autumn colours, I took the time to listen to all the chirping birds, hidden away but being noisy and full of life. It was great. I must have looked like a huge weirdo with this goofy smile on my face, randomly stopping to snap pictures while the rush hour traffic inched by.


Article and photos copyrighted by EcoYogini at


  1. I haven't lived in an area where we get red and orange trees in SO LONG. Luckily, we have lots of "burning bushes" in this area. I don't know the real names of those, but they turn a brilliant red in October, and that is enough to satisfy me! Love your pictures!

  2. one of the things i love about my new neighborhood is all the trees. my old hood didn't have many trees so spring and fall felt the same. here the air smells like fall and leaves fall to the ground and turn colors in the park. it's lovely.

  3. I love the changing fall colors. So very very beautiful! It is my FAVORITE time of year.

    [I SO need to start back with yoga. I still have not and feel so so stiff. :(]


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