Author: Emily Courtney
“Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis.” -Author Unknown
We often draw parallels between the renewal of spring in nature to a seasonal renewal in our own lives. In nature, flecks of green appear on tree branches, flower buds emerge, and tiny beaks can be seen popping up out of bird nests. As humans, we make New Year’s resolutions and engage in spring cleaning, trying to give ourselves a fresh start. The perspective gained through a nature based life brings an added dynamic. When we watch the processes of the natural world, we don’t just see spring, summer, fall, and winter; we also see planting, growing, and harvesting seasons. Seeds are planted, either by us or natural processes, at a time that will maximize their growth potential. Nature takes over and generates the growth, and then we and other creatures reap what was sown. This is a masterfully intricate process of seasonality and reproduction, and our responsibility as stewards is to fit our needs around it and encourage the process as best we can.
Mother Nature is simultaneously a creature of habit and wildly unpredictable. Farmers know this better than anyone. They have mastered the art of working within her routine and around her volatility. We can take the principles and wisdom gained throughout the history of agriculture and apply them to habitat management. Spring planting for wildlife is one of the most critical components of an annual management regime. Wildlife planting typically begins a little later than agricultural planting, because the goal is different. Our timing is based on having mature corn on the stalk during bow season or seeds on the ground for doves. There’s a narrow window of opportunity for planting in the spring to make the timing works out, so preparation and planning are essential. However, you must also be flexible enough to adapt to nature’s inherent variability. The process of selecting sites for planting, mowing, and drilling seed may seem fairly straightforward, but when the wildlife on your property depend on supplemental plantings to get them through the year, it’s important to get it right.
Each season is dependent upon each of the others. They work together as a continual process to ensure perpetual growth and renewal. Whether you see it as spring, summer, and fall or planting, growing, and harvesting seasons, it’s all a cycle that allows us to maintain the delicate balance of life on Earth. Finding your role in that process is one of the most satisfying things a person can experience when living a nature based life.
Click below to watch Spring Revival, episode 4 of our Nature Based Life series, and head over to our YouTube channel to watch the first three episodes. While you’re there, subscribe so you don’t miss the next one!