The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES

BRANDON WISCONSIN R.R-2 ZIP-53919

This morning I have set my timer on the stove for one half hour,
and then I must get breakfast. And as I did it I said to myself,
what a miracle. My grandmother didn’t have something such as
this by which to apportion her time if she so wished. The miracles
of the world we live in have been much on my mind of late. It gives
me hope that by some miracle our remarkable country may come out of
the mess we find she is in.

The earth is resting now, covered by multiplied millions of
leaves. But before these leaves turned an earthy brown they were
brilliant in their autumn display of color. Why, I asked myself,
and then I found a part of the answer. One would think that God has
a big paint brush with which he goes about while we sleep and adds
another color to his huge canvas every night.

But we find that a sequence of events in nature bring these
amazing results. It is involved with temperature, light and
moisture. Beside this there are hereditary factors which help to
determine just what color your favorite tree is going to be. There
is a different process involved for trees that become merely a huge
ball of gold and those in which such radiant reds and soft plum
colors appear. It has to do with pigments according to a man from
our state of Wisconsin. He is a plant physiologist at the
University of Wisconsin. This Theodore Kozlowski discounts that
frost has any direct effect on coloring the more dazzling colors
appear in clear, dry, cool air, and rain and frost only dull what
could have been a gorgeous display.

Kozlowski giver the following as his theory of how it all comes
about. Underlying the chlorophyll on each leaf are yellow and
orange pigments which do not show their color when the lovely green
of the spring and summer leaves are so pleasing to our eyes. When
the cool clear days of autumn come the production of chlorophyll
decreases which brings out the underlying colors in all their
beauty as the leaves release their hold on life.

Some trees carry brownish pigments called tannins and therefore
we have the beeches and oaks display to us an entirely different
picture than the maples.

The maples and sumac are glorified in their manner due to
another pigment called anthocyanin. I was so happy to learn about
all of this because it explains something to me which I had
pondered of for some ten years.

In 1957 we made a trip to the east coast through Canada and down
through the New England States. In the woods of Ontario and Quebec
spring was showing its full glory. The trees were leafing in the
most amazing display of pinks, yellows, orange, delicate greens,
and even brilliant reds in certain sections. Amongst the almost
black connifers it made a display I have never forgotten And I kept
asking myself why we didn’t have these colors in the spring in
Wisconsin.

Now, after all this time, I find the answer. It must be the
right combination of coolness and light in Canada to produce this
marvelous display. When we visited Banff and Lake Louise in the
Canadian Rockies we were so impressed by the bright colors of the
flowers there also and the quality of the air. So here I pass on
the explanation to you in case you may have wondered. It is but
another of God’s miracles.

This winter we are enjoying the health and delicious flavor of
rose hip jelly. Tests have shown that rose hips, the pretty red
seed apples on your rose bushes contain up to sixty times as much
vitamin C as oranges. When I began to explore this topic I found
that there is such a thing as rose hip soup also. A Swedish writer
friend of mine claims that her ancestors ate it. Rose hips can be
used either fresh or dried. They have a pleasing flavor. In the
Scandinavian countries they are used for tea, and sauces as
well.

As my friend and I were talking she told me of how she had been
rather sickly as a child and was sent to her uncle’s home to
improve her health. Her uncle had a large rose garden and little
Thyra found the fall rose hips delicious as a country snack. The
uncle became a little alarmed that his niece had such peculiar
eating habits. He reported this to her parents and their doctor who
both declared these would not harme her. On the contrary the girl
began to improve readily and was soon apply-cheeked and robust
again. Now she knows it was the rose hips.

We chuckled together about this incident and spoke of how
wonderfully God cares for His people. Now, in her sixties, Thyra is
still apple-cheeked and lively. Of course, we both get tired, we
are not so young any more. But after we have seen the miracles on
earth we can scarcely wait for the miracles of heaven. To both of
us it is the great adventure, just to be alive, to be friends, to
be able to watch the unfolding of seasons. Right now in Wisconsin
the geese are entertaining us with their honking serenades morning
and afternoon as they come to feed on our land and that on all the
farms around us. Where they get too much of a nuisance they have
set up devises which make shooting sounds at intervals during the
day and night. When I first heard them I thought the army had come
to town. You see, we live about ten miles from the famous Horicon
Marsh where at present they estimateed 130,000 geese were stopping
off for a month or two.

When this comes into print Christmas will be at hand and the
geese will have long flown farther south. But in the meantime they
are to me another miracle, a part of the changing seasons, and an
affirmation of God’s care, come what may. So have a Happy
Holiday and a New Year filled with miracles which leave you ever
searching for the joys which are yet to come.

Farm Collector Magazine
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