In a fast-changing world, transitions outdoors remain slow and steady

Transition is slowly occurring in the outdoors.

It was noticed when a ripe acorn fell from the century-old and older oak onto my arm. It was noticed when I was planning to do some work outside and the sun was sinking earlier than I had planned and thus darkness was sooner and my plans were gone. It was noticed when the power-line above a tilled field, held several dozen doves. It was noticed when I opened a container of hunting clothes, while looking for something that I have yet to find, because it is either accidentally hidden or accidently lost.

And, it was noticed when the air was not as thick recently and the dew was not as heavy and the wind came through the trees from the north and not the south and this made the air something that was neither thick nor unbearable.

What fascinates this observer of things in nature and the outdoors is that it is almost as if recognizing change is an all-of-a-sudden moment, when in fact, transition and change is a constant force in the outdoors. Literally, by the minute as soon as the days become longer or shorter, they also become longer or shorter, within a day.

And, while it may seem as though only recently that leaves were fully green and the landscape became a deep green of new and thriving, some species of leaves have begun the nomadic change from green to yellow, meaning a cycle of end is beginning.

In the waters, the summer change has occurred and fish are beginning to behave differently than before. Some of this behavior is the life cycle of those fish that were spawned in the spring and some of this is related to a new hatch and some this is because the moon and the sun have an effect on fish that we know nothing about and this is why we fish and wonder.

In the fields, deer are in an early morning and late afternoon pattern of feeding and wandering and much of this predictable behavior is a calming way to watch the day begin or the day end.

And yet there is also transition in our ways and patterns, too. Transition took place in the mailbox, too. It is here that circulars and catalogs are marketed to promote the up and coming season of hunting and fall and that even though it remains the flip-flop season of footwear, we customers should consider purchasing boots or a jacket.

It is receiving a call from a friend about a place to hunt on opening day of dove season, three weeks from the opening day of the dove season, and you remind this friend he doesn’t need to ask permission and yet his phone call reminds you that transition is occurring. Transition is shouldering a familiar shotgun and the smell of fresh cleaning oil and the recoil reminds you of seasons of past and this collectively builds anticipation of the season to come. And, transition is planning a trip in August and the trip includes the phrase “Fall trip” and this seems so far away and yet it is only a few weeks away and planning a fall trip in the remaining days of summer, creates anticipation of change.

In this world where everything is fast and knowledge is such a quick resource to gain, it is at the least refreshing to notice something that is occurring slowly and deliberately and more importantly, it occurs at a pace that is very much natural. Granted, there are fish to be caught in these remaining days of August. There is mud that is best felt with bare feet. There is shade that buffers the heat of summer. Yet, when we stand in the mud and sit in the shade, if we notice the yellow of the leaves and feel the coolness of air, then we have slowed our world to watch the slow pace of an outdoor transition.

Enjoy your time outdoors.