Author Archives: mranderson

Almost Winter 2017

Eight days until Winter.  In Beatles time that’s exactly one week.  Our very mild autumn weather has finally decided to dress for the season.  So, I donned some extra layers yesterday afternoon and went for a walk in Owen Conservation Park.  The morning had been mostly sunny but clouds started to move in later in the day.  Most of the oak trees were devoid of their leaves, the grasses were still bravely displaying their autumn gold, and, though the sky was succumbing to gray, it still showed a little blue and afternoon orange.

The only plant that had any color other than brown or gray was the staghorn sumac. The leaves had long since disappeared but the dark red seed heads still stood up tall against the skyline. I’ve heard that some people harvest the seeds and make a spice or a drink so I decided to ask my friend, Mr. Google. If you’re curious you can see what he has to say here.

There was a very light dusting of snow on the ground.  About the only place it could be seen was on the trails.  It hadn’t been cold very long but the shallow ponds were frozen over and also held a thin layer of white.

It was only about 3 PM but it was getting dark and I was getting cold.  I walked along the edge of the prairie and looked at the trees in the distance.  In one direction the crisp white trunks of a stand of birch stood out clearly.  In another direction the dark silhouettes of oaks and other trees showed up against the horizon.  More clouds were moving in as I headed home.

At this time of year I am always curious about what the new winter has in store for us.  We’ll soon see.

Posted in Nature, Seasons, Weather