Fall at Last

October 9, 2019

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

The arrival of October Monday seems to have prompted Mother Nature to get busy. The trees, even in our yard, are beginning to turn and lose a few of their leaves and the hummingbirds have suddenly disappeared. Headed for South America I’m told, a 10,000 mile trip which seems to be impossible for a tiny little hummingbird!

Another sign of the change in seasons…putting the hummingbird feeder away (it’s done) until next May.

Winter must really be “just around the corner now” because we have been enjoying the daily antics of a very industrious black squirrel as he stores away goodies for the winter. There’s a walnut tree somewhere across the road. Nearly every day he, or she, (we aren’t sure) goes over and collects a walnut (usually as big as his head) and carries it back across the road and into our yard where he buries it. Every one he collects gets stashed in a different spot and he is at the task all day long nearly every day.

If Jack didn’t mow regularly, we would probably have a “walnut grove” here in a few years…unless the nuts are all found and eaten before spring. The only time this little guy lets up on the long treks across the road and back is if Jack throws out a handful of peanuts. Then he hides one and eats one until they are all gone. Guess he/she likes peanuts best of all.

The arrival of cooler days and nights that are flirting with the 30s means that I guess it’s time to close up our summer “digs,” the fifth wheel up at Roscommon, for another 7 ½ months while we wait for spring to arrive again.

That is definitely not my favorite thing to do, but a necessary chore, since when the snow flies, we wouldn’t want to, or be able to enjoy our little get-away place in the edge of the woods. It’s a cozy retreat for us, but not ideal when the weather gets cold and the snow gets deep.

The days are getting much shorter, the air outside is cooler and it’s the beginning of hunting season here in Michigan. Specifically archery, or bow season, which began on Tuesday morning and runs through the end of the year except for the 15 days of firearm season next month.

With concerns about the possibility of bovine tuberculosis, the Department of Natural Resources has posted that the successful hunters in Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogema, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon Counties are encouraged to take their deer to a DNR check station or use a self-service drop box at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck.

It is now also the official beginning of the “leaf peepers” season. Thousands will take to the back roads this month in hopes of seeing some incredible fall color in the countryside.

In fact we will be doing a bit of our own leaf peeping and plan to make a circle trip east, north and west and back south in the near future. Some of the best colors we have seen are northwest of Grayling, although I’ve heard that the Upper Peninsula has some fabulous color in the fall.

After all northern Michigan has some of the most beautiful fall colors in the U.S. as far as I am concerned, and as I have said many times before, it’s my favorite season even if it does herald the beginning of another long dreary winter and cold and soggy spring!

Fall means colorful trees, goldenrod in the fields, a hint of burning leaves in the air and crisp sunny days (we hope). It is a wonderful time to take advantage of a warm sunny afternoon for a walk in the woods, something I plan to enjoy on our next and probably last trip north for a weekend.

I am going to miss our weekends up there. Just wish the warm seasons could last a little longer.

My ideal year would be three months of winter, two of spring five months of summer and two of fall. That must happen someplace, but it unfortunately never seems to happen up here in the north country.

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