Pat Shingelton: "The Harvest and Natures Compass..."
It’s nearly harvest time in south Louisiana, especially for the sugar cane crop. The purchase of the “deep-freezer” by my dad in the 1960s became a storage locker for the fruits and vegetables from our property in Ellwood City, PA. Fruit trees included: apple, pear, peach, plum and a grape arbor that produced enough fruit for jams and jellies and an apple pie throughout the year. Our garden provided an abundance of tomatoes, beans, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and rhubarb. In September, tomatoes were “pureed” into juice that included a recipe my brother Kevin still uses in his famous spaghetti sauce. I remember the sweet corn harvest and the assembly-line process of ears being blanched, cut from the cob, packed and loaded into the deep freeze. Finally, during our excursions in the woods on Wiley Hill, Scout Master Art Johnson taught us that nature provided numerous direction finders.One indicator was moss covering the north side of trees and rocks, wind direction and locating the north star. “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” reported that herds of grazing and resting deer and cattle tend to align themselves with Earth’s magnetic fields. Researchers observed 3,000 deer in the Czech Republic noting that regardless of wind or sunlight, they generally aligned to the magnetic north. Researchers believe creatures can sense Earth’s magnetic field and field detection is a fundamental role in spatial perception. Even if creatures move over short distances, magnetism assisted their navigation.