Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Fall Of The Rat


As I walk along my forest path I look around and I see something very disturbing. But not only can I see it, I can feel it as well. Summer has abandoned me and fall is here. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but I have been telling everyone that summer had gone by too fast. At first I thought I just didn't want what might have been my favorite outside summer to go away, but I decided to investigate and I found something very wrong.

I have been writing this blog for over a year now, and this is the first year I've spent most of my time outside. I watched as winter turned to spring, and I watched as spring turned to summer. Now I'm watching summer turn to fall, but what could be wrong with that? That's the way it's supposed to happen, isn't it? Not quite! Let me explain.


As I said before, I decided to investigate. I keep an archive of every photo I have taken since I started this blog right here on my computer. It's a huge archive, but I keep it well organized. What I did was to look back to a year ago to see just what things were like back then. This is where I found a huge discrepancy. Last year the leaves were still on the trees. The trees were still very green. This year things are different.

Right now the trees are turning very quickly and the leaves are beginning to fall at an alarming rate. We are almost a full month ahead of where we were last year. Mother Nature is pulling a cruel prank on us here, and it's not fair! No, it's not fair at all! I think we deserve an apology! I want it right now or I'm going to throw a tantrum of titanic proportions! Oh. I guess maybe that's what I'm doing right now.

There were so many places I wanted to go. So many things I wanted to see! I haven't even gotten the chance to go to all of my precious nature parks this summer. I went to exactly one state park this year. There is another one I visited last year, and I'm going to miss it completely now. And what about the national parks? I have never visited a national park in my entire life!


Just recently my friend DNLee over at Urban Science Adventures wrote an excellent post about the national parks. You can find that right here: National Parks - America's Best Idea. She listed all of the parks that she has visited, and then she asked me and a few others to join in and write a similar post listing our national park visits. That's when I realized that I had never been to a national park. Astonishing! Take a look at her post, she even has a link to a map of all of our national parks so you can check yours too.

I wanted so much to tell her, and all of you, about my trip to Jellystone where I met Yogi Bear and stole his precious pic-a-nic basket. But alas, that trip never happened. It would have been a complete lie! Ahhh, who knows? Maybe I'll tell you all that story one day anyway. It's a pretty good one! There was this huge fight between us and...

I better stop right there. Since I never got to visit a national park yet, I have a question to ask all of you. Have you visited a national park? And which one? How many have you been to? Can you tell me a little about your trip? It can be any national park in any country. I'm asking you this so I can understand in a small way what it would be like to visit one of these places. Can you help me? Maybe it will help make this early fall feel slightly better.

(Warning! Sometimes a rat seems more upset than he really is when looking through a computer monitor.)

18 comments:

  1. Your every experience is really very interesting. I like to read that.

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  2. I haven't visited any National Park in a long time so I can't tell you..I only get to visit local children playground :-(

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  3. Heavy frost here this morning adds an exclamation mark to your post my friend.

    I've visited Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. I was in California on business and took some personal time (vacation) to visit the parks with friends. California is much different once you get out of the big cities.

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  4. You have visited one of the National Park in Malaysia, this is the only one I have visited, so far.

    By the way, we get older, same to the tree. The leaves were falling like our hairs, in a larming rate.

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  5. I want Yogi Bear story!!!! Pleassseee.... Ratty!

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  6. I thought it was just me! I've been exclaiming to everybody that autumn is too early this year. I noticed leaves on few pear trees turning in August, but I thought they were sick. Then I returned from Europe and noticed them bare. I confirmed that fall was here when the local locust trees began to yellow and my gibgko has yellow edges. WAY too early for either. And my family and friends in Wisconsin & Minnesota are reportign frost! in September. I know it get's cold but last October I was in Racine & Chicago and it was warm/cool autumn day.

    Climate change is real my friends, very real.

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  7. Tanya @ allotments4youOctober 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    I'm with you Ratty..never been to a national park...not even sure we call them that in england??? HHMMMM????

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  8. As a child my parents favorite vacation spot was the Great Smoky Mountains which is a national park. There are so many national parks in the south it is hard to name all of the ones we visited. I have also camped there as I grew older.

    Alaska has Denali National park, I have camped and hiked there and it is unbelievable. Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America.

    My husband and I love the Redwoods National and state parks area in Northern California and have been there many times. The giant Redwood trees are incredible. One of our favorites in Oregon is Crater Lake National park. Here in Washington Mt. Rainier National park is one we like.

    There are so many.

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  9. I've been to all of the U.K. national parks apart from one. The usually wild untamed places scattered with a few small villages and towns.

    My favourites are Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. I love to explore the deserted hills :-)

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  10. I don't believe I've ever been to a national park. I am with you though on the temper tantrum over the early arrival of fall.

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  11. Absolutely stunning yet again..I'm hoping we get an actual fall here, I'm looking forward to taking pics, but winter might just skip ahead..

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  12. R4 Card - Thank you very much. There's many more interesting things to come.
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    Icy BC - I'm similar but my playground is my local nature parks.
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    Secondary Roads - You know exactly what I mean about this weather then. I think those are the two parks I would visit first if I had the choice.
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    Rainfield - I'm the lucky kind of tree. I'm like an evergreen. I have a very full head of hair. And I guess this might be more than a touch of vanity, but my hair is more beautiful than most female's hair, even if I do have a touch of gray. :D
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    Vanilla - I want that Yogi Bear story too. I'll try to make it happen for you, but I might have to change Yogi's name for copyright reasons.
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    DNLee - I'm receiving reports of frost here in Michigan too. I don't like this early fall. The climate is definitely different than it was last year.
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    Tanya - I'm not sure what they call them either. I do know you have some beautiful countryside. John from English Wilderness would know what your places are called.
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    SquirrelQueen - Thanks so much for that! That's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to read about! My mother just informed me that we drove through the Smoky Mountains when I was a child. I still don't think that counts. I lived in Tennessee very close to those mountains for a few years when I was a kid. Those few years were some of the best of my life.
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    John - I knew if anyone knew about the parks in the UK it would be you. Thanks for giving me the exact kind of answer I was looking for. I hope Tanya reads your comment.
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    Ann - I've been saying for some time that summer went way too fast. Now I'm seeing confirmation. I hope this doesn't mean a harsh winter.
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    Nipsy - I like fall, but I wanted to wait a few more weeks for it. I hope it's a long one.

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  13. I've never been to a national park Ratty. I've noticed how early the trees were changing this year also. Hope that doesn't mean a rough winter ahead.

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  14. The summers of my two junior high years, my parents and I went on long (one and two months) vacations around the western 2/3 of the United States. So I have been in dozens of parks, some of them national.

    Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon definitely stick out in my memory. Yellowstone was my first in-person glimpse at the effects of fire on a forest ecosystem; there were places that had burned off where the rangers used the road as a fireblock, so we could compare one side with the other and see how plants were recovering. Yosemite, we went hiking -- it was like climbing up to visit the sky. The Grand Canyon was so sweltering that I basically walked five minutes down the top of Bright Angel Trail, fifteen minutes back up, and said, "Okay, I'm done." I spent the rest of our visit exploring the indoor resources and going outdoors only in the evening. But my father hiked ... much of the way down Bright Angel, I think it was.

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  15. Ginnymo - I hope that doesn't mean a rough winter too. Last winter was bad enough. We got lucky when that one ended abruptly.
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    Elizabeth Barrette - It sounds like you've had some amazing experiences. I've only been as far west as Nebraska. I can only dream of what those parks might be like. You have helped make that dream a little more vivid though. Thanks.

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  16. Funny you should bring that up..we have been talking about taking a trip out west to see several National Parks ourselves. We have Isle Royle up here in the U.P...my parents actually worked there one summer and my brother has been there several times, but I have not been there yet. It is also on my list to go to...

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  17. The Retired One - There are several special shows coming up on TV about the national parks. DNLee has details on her blog. I'd love to see even one national park in my life. I'll have to start looking for the closest one.

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  18. After reading you this post I decide to have a visit to a national park. It will be wonderful experience for me.

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