Why do I share nature-related words? It all started when my curiosity was peaked by a friend’s post about her ‘crepuscular‘ cat. I wasn’t familiar with that word so I looked it up. I was so intrigued that there are single words that succinctly describe a phenomenon or emotion. I set off with great motivation to learn other nature-related words. It was also a perfect fit for my children’s nature and home-schooling activities.
Most of the words I share have been used in the English language with references found in literature and science sources. It made sense to me as my hope is that we can all use them comfortably in our everyday lives when noticing and sharing our love for nature. We are, however, increasingly becoming global citizens. And we must as we have a communal responsibility to fully understand the human relationship with the earth and that we are active participants in her well-being.
Inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s book Landmarks, this month’s nature word comes from the Lithuanian language and is most appropriate for the current season in the northern hemisphere.
If you’d like to print a copy, you can do so by clicking here.
If you’d like to follow Robert and see his ‘word of the day’, click here.
Have you noticed that some trees seem to hold on to their leaves throughout the winter? We often notice how the golden and coppery colors stand out among the surrounding bare trees or against the backdrop of green conifers. It’s common especially for oaks, American Beech and Witch Hazels.
Now is the perfect time to take notice of which trees and shrubs still have dried leaves or flower corollas clinging on, before the new spring growth casts them off. And because there are a limited variety with this trait, these trees should be fairly easy to identify.
Next time you are out, take notice of the trees and have fun pointing out any marcescent ones you see.
“The dead leaves their rich mosaics
Of olive and gold and brown
Had laid on the rain-wet pavements,
Through all the embowered town.”
What colors come to mind for you when you think of the colors of dying leaves? Olive? Sepia? Copper? I love how the word for this month (from the French feuille morte) conjures up so many different hues, the visual unique for each one of us.
Spend some time with your child noticing the colors of the autumn leaves around you. Bring home a collection or take some photos. Look at the variety. Can you arrange them from darkest to lightest? How else might you categorize them? How would you describe the colors? What do the colors make you think of?
Resources to Inspire:
I hope this word of the month and the resources above help heighten your appreciation for all the shades of fall’s fading leaves.
Have fun exploring!
P.S. If you’d to print a copy of this month’s word, you can download a PDF version.