The John Collins Contemplation Garden is complete and this week, work began on the Maintenance Building at Crossroads. The building, located just off Michigan Street, will house a shop and our vehicles, enabling us to re-purpose our garage area for education. Our goal was to build in the fall.
We can tell the seasons are changing at Crossroads at Big Creek. Certainly, the days are getting shorter, the morning air is a bit nippy, and the leaves are staring to turn. But we can tell because when groups use our facilities, the refreshments change depending on the time of year.
In fall, the candy dishes seem to be filled with the candy corn. We learned, when doing research on penny candy when the Greene General Store in the Historical Village at The Crossroads was under construction, that candy corn was sold only in September and October—not to celebrate the harvest, but rather, because during the summer months, the three-colored confection melted into one big gloppy mess.
But think about it: Jelly beans and Peeps and chocolate bunnies mean spring. Candy canes, almond bark, and peanut brittle are popular during the holidays. Conversation hearts and chocolate creams for Valentine’s Day. S’mores and M&Ms in the hottest part of summer . For every sweet, there is a season.
In nature, dietary tastes change as well. Yellow jackets, for example, feeding on sweets such as fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap in the spring.. Once their colonies begin to grow, the adults feed the larvae protein, usually meat and insects. Actually these yellow and black wasps are extremely beneficial because they prey on garden and agricultural pests. The adults
carry the meat to the nest and pre-chew for their young. Iin return, the larvae give off a highly desirable sweet substance.
In early fall, when the wasp colonies are breaking up, the yellow jackets stop feeding meat and protein to the young, so they do not get the sweets they crave. Consequently, they change from being beneficial insect predators into highly annoying and aggressive scavengers around garbage cans, picnics, hummingbird feeders and rotting fruit. And with their change of diet comes a change in temperament.
Some mammals change their diets with the seasons. When they first emerge from their winter dormancy, black bears eat grass and the tender leaves of trees. As summer progresses insects and fruit get added to the bear diet. By fall, nuts–high in fats and nutrients–are the prefered food as the bears gorge almost around the clock to build up enough fat to survive the winter.
This time of year, robins turn from worms to fruit. Chickadees which fed their young mostly insect protein all summer are now coming back to backyard bird feeders for fats and carbohydrates. Much of the diet change is simply due to the availability of different foods in different seasons.
Seasonal changes in human diet similarly is based on availability. Watermelon and raspberries have given way to apples. Corn on the cob is disappearing from menus, while zuchini-everything demonstrates the creativity of local cooks. And some deep primal instinct makes most of us gravitate to comfort food in fall and winter–which generally mean carohydrates.
Comfort food also evokes memories. The smell of turkey reminds us of Thanksgiving. The aroma of fudge and sugar cookies transports us to the holidays. And to anyone of Norwegian heritage, the scent of lifse and rosette cookies brings memories of Christamses past and family.
But you don’t have to be Norwegian to enjoy Scandandivian pastries. You just have to visit The Historical Village at The Crossroads on Sunday, Septmeber 30. The Sons of Norway in colaboration with the Door County Historical Society will present Norwegian Heritage Day.
On September 30, from 1:30-3:30, The Sons of Norway Lodge will highlight different aspects of Norwegian culture and heritage. Demonstrations will include weaving, tatting, hardanger needlework, knitting, and woodwork. Decorative folk art including rosemaling and woodworking will be on display and visitors will be invited to taste a number of traditional Norwegian pastries.In addition, George Evenson will give a presentation on “The Hanson House” Music and Norwegian pastry samples will be available to enjoy. Free and open to the public.
Monday Night, the Friends of Crossroads will meet in the Collins Learning Center at 6:30 to plan for upcoming events and projects. Potential visitors are always welcome.
Tuesday evening, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society holds its October meeting at 7:00 at the Stonecipher Astronomy Building at Crossroads. The monthly topic will be “An Update on the Mars Rover Curiosity” by Tom Minahan followed by a program on : “Neutrinos”by Ray Stonecipher. Refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.
Crossroads is a donor-supported preserve, welcoming visitors to the programs in science, history and the environment. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan is open daily 2:00-4:30. During fall, The Historical Village at The Crossroads is open 1:30-3:30 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday, September 30, 1:30-3:30 Sunday in The Village- Norwegian Heritage Day
The Sons of Norway Lodge will highlight different aspects of Norwegian culture and heritage. Demonstrations will include weaving, tatting, hardanger needlework, knitting, and woodwork. Decorative folk art including rosemaling and woodworking will be on display and visitors will be invited to taste a number of traditional Norwegian pastries.In addition, George Evenson will give a presentation on “The Hanson House” Music and Norwegian pastry samples will be available to enjoy. Free and open to the public.
Monday, October 1, 6:30 Friends of Crossroads
Visitors are always welcome at the monthly meetings of Crossroads volunteer group. This month, they will plan for upcoming events and projects.
Tuesday, October 2 7:00 General Meeting of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society
Visitors are encouraged to attend the meeting of the DPAS. The monthly topic will be “An Update on the Mars Rover Curiosity“ by Tom Minahan followed by a program on : “Neutrinos” by Ray Stonecipher. Refreshments will be served. Please use the Utah Street Entrance to Crossroads. Free and open to the public.