For a season that started out looking like it would fly by quickly, this fall really has proven to be a colorful one. With the dry weather, it appeared that the leaves would turn early and fall quickly, but not so. We are seeing our peak color right now, and the landscape is a variety of yellows, oranges, changing greens, and some browns and reds. It is a visual treat. Despite the cloudy days, it is very bright out there.
Cloudy days seem to be the norm, ever since the day of the evacuation, two weeks ago. Those fires didn't stand a chance against Mother Nature's way of recent days. It has been cloudy, rainy, and much cooler than I remember last September to be. The forecast changes on a daily basis, and it seems that this period is so unsettled that it is hard to pinpoint and predict anything with hope of it even being close to reality. Despite the cooler temps, the lake trout haven't been cooperating enough to come in to shallower waters. Today is the end of the season for them, so they can all swim safely off to their spawning season. But watch out come this winter---there will be holes in the ice, and lines dropped ready for the trout to come along hungry!
It is officially moose hunting season, which happens in early October when the moose rut is on. I have only seen one moose lately myself. He was standing on the Trail, near the Poplar Lake Fire Hall. It happened that there was a large sandwich board sign on the road, indicating that the fire hall was the location for current fire information. The moose was standing right near it, calmly looking in both directions at the traffic (did his mother teach him that?), waiting to cross the road. Of course we didn't have our cameras with, but it was a fun sight to remember.
The other day, Paul was up collecting mail at our mailbox, when he heard an unusual snort. A few years ago, when we had a bear hanging around regularly, we learned that donkeys can make a rolling snort to scare away intruders. But this was a new sound, and it turned out to be Jethro. He was standing tall, with his ears pointed straight up. He was looking south of the pasture, which is uphill towards the ridge behind us. Paul looked, and sure enough, there was a moose standing at the edge of the septic field. He didn't see any antlers, so he figured that it must have been a cow. He came down to get us, and when we got up there, Jethro was still standing guard, and occasionally snorting. The moose was already gone, though, so we didn't get to see her. Moses was thrilled to see us all, and thought that we must have brought treats. He was oblivious to the moose, it seems. I guess since he has scared away bears, he doesn't think too much about moose.
We've been seeing several deer in the neighborhood as well as all along the trail. I brought Addie up to the end of the trail this morning, and there were a few sprinkled out along the trail, and then on the return trip, I saw two fork-horn bucks on the side road. It seems early for them to be hanging around, but I am guessing that that is who ate the last of my broccoli plants sometime in the past day. I'm really glad that they didn't find it any sooner this summer. Surprisingly, I was mostly pest-free in my gardening attempts.
One day last week, I went for a drive up to Thunder Bay with my good friend, Gerrie. It was a beautiful ride, and the leaves were in excellent form. The high hills around Grand Portage were a wonderful blend of yellows, oranges and deep greens from the coniferous trees. There are several rock outcroppings, views of some islands, and of course, the big lake, too. If you have not been up that way before, it is a good drive to take, no matter what the season. I find it to be yet another of the many faces of Minnesota, a state that has an incredible range of landscapes.
The word lately from Alaska is that there has been some snow falling in Fairbanks already. Robert was headed out today to get a couple of heaters for his truck, so that it will start for him in the cold and snowy months ahead. I'm glad that we still have fall to go through, because I am not yet ready to face snow. At least, not until the firewood is cut, split and stacked. That is next week's job---it's that time of the year.