Fall is certainly upon us here….no more hoping for those last nice fall days. Trees that a week or so ago were in full color are now losing their leaves entirely.
The birds are making more frequent and voracious visits to the bird feeder, along with the squirrels who are definitely looking a little chunkier now than they did in the recent past. Geese and ducks have gathered their flocks and started moving south, hitting all the freshly harvested fields on the way. (Although I am always surprised each winter by the number of geese that decide to tough out the winter here – I guess they can find enough food to say the hell with getting shot at all along the Mississippi Flyway during hunting season.)
There’s an increase in roadside mortality for raccoons and skunks…I guess those extra few pounds they’ve packed on recently for hibernating cause them to miss a step or two when it comes to dodging traffic. Just not as quick as they were before they started bulking up.
We humans feel the turning of Nature’s wheel as well. The patio furniture and plants are in, and the screens are out, replaced by storm windows. Furnaces are checked, and faucets drained for winter.
It’s pheasant hunting season, so hordes of beer-bellied, middle-aged men take to the prairies of Minnesota and the Dakotas to hunt the elusive ringneck pheasant (which although I don’t hunt, I have to admit is some mighty fine eatin’!)
It’s their chance to get away from the wives and the routine, and get out of the office park and cubicle. Tell lies about their life in the city to attractive small-town waitresses and bartenders that remind them of the girls they knew when they were younger, thinner, and the world was their oyster.
Ma Nature is checking the doors and turning out the lights, ready to descend upon us with her winter coat. It really gives you a sense of the passing of time – another winter, another Christmas, another year.
A good time to stare into the fire with a glass in one hand and your chin in the other, thinking about who you’ll be in the spring when everything and everyone comes to life again.