Outdoors Magazine

For the Times They Are A-changin' (tree-following)

Posted on the 09 October 2022 by Hollis
For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)Autumn is hardly as revolutionary as the Sixties, but Dylan's words still come to mind as nights lengthen, days cool, the outdoors goes silent except for the wind, and even the wind itself is waning. In the midst of all this downturn is a brilliant exception—leaf color. Instead of greenery, which we enjoy but mostly take for granted, we are bombarded by yellows, oranges, and reds. It helps!

Three weeks ago I checked the grove where the tree I'm following grows, and found signs of what was to come.

For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)

September 19.

By last week, colors had changed, maybe not dramatically but enough to be therapeutic. I stood unwound beneath the sky, listening to leaves in a breeze I couldn't feel. To such things, this is the season.

For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)

October 6.

For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)

Among poplars.

For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)

The old balsam poplar I'm following now wears an orange crown.


Bob Dylan intended this song to be a commentary on the great social changes of the times (released in 1964). It would become an anthem of sorts, widely used as a song of protest. It was one of two Dylan tunes on the Byrds' second album, the apt title track being Turn Turn Turn—To Everything There is a Season (written by Pete Seeger). The other Dylan track was Lay Down Your Weary Tune.

For the times they are a-changin' (tree-following)
Tree-followers are currently gathering, as they do each month. For news of trees on both sides of the Atlantic, check this site kindly hosted by The Squirrelbasket. Do you feel the urge? To join us, learn more here.

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