By Minerva Cook

The last leaf
loses its grip
bronzed scarlet
falters, flutters,
joins its mates below blending into broken browns.

The naked sugar maple

shivers in a wind that

promises ice and snow.

It is said a wish made

when the last leaf falls

will be good for a year.

When I don’t believe in wishes,

how can I make a wish?

Butterflies no longer hover
over spent goldenrod and asters.

The crickets are silent in dead grasses,

songbirds have flown south.

I zip up my coat and

continue my walk.
I cannot outpace
the chill that follows me.

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I the undersigned, wish to have my child
participate in the following activity
sponsored by the Saugeen Naturalists. As part of registering my child, I hereby agree as follows:
1. That I acknowledge that there are inherent risks associated with this activity and that my child could sustain personal injury through participation in this activity and I am hereby accepting to take that risk on behalf of myself or my child.

2. To save harmless and keep indemnified the Saugeen Naturalists and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and their respective agents, official servants and representatives against all claims and actions, costs and expenses and demands, in respect of injury, loss or damage or death to myself or my child’s person.

3. That I acknowledge that in this situation volunteers are involved in supervising this activity and that I shall accept the responsibility of observing my child’s participation in this activity and should I have any objection to the manner in which my child or myself are being supervised or instructed, I accept the responsibility to remove myself or my child from this activity.

This agreement shall be binding upon myself, my heirs, executors and assigns.