The press of the mid day sun feels wonderful as it warms my back. A crisp Autumn breeze swirls in from the north gathering the last of the dying leaves and spreads them gently over the ground below. . The once plush green of the Garden now a mix of depleted rows, Dried stems mottled vines. The tree’s lay bare of fruit and leaf. Her branches stretching skyward as if to capture those last rays while a red squirrel chatters a season’s close.
But the mornings bring a winter sky a cold color of gray hiding the sun with a chill that reaches to the bone. A blanket of White frost lays heavy, smothering the dying green and one can almost hear the cries as each piece of summers green succumbs to the killing cold to a seasons end.
Folks who claim there is no God amaze me so. For to watch the progression of seasons change gives very little doubt to His presence or His power.
Small animals gather food and begin to store. Birds gather and soon leave for a warmer climate. Even the fish in my pond feed aggressively, then begin to transition into a mode requiring no food and very little movement even before the first ice skims the water surface. Plants finish their cycle and go dormant hiding from the frigid winter Weather. Even the huge Oak and Maple shed their leaves and conform to an awesome plan set
Forth by the King of Kings.
The “frosty Mornings of late Autumn are conditioning, and soon will be replaced with the real deal as Arctic cold move down from the north. Fall wardrobes will not be enough and caps will become a necessity to capture body heat in order to stay warm. A leisure summer stroll out to the car will soon become a mad dash to a running auto with a heater blasting to avoid the cutting cold. Vehicles, needing maintenance, or just tired from use will refuse to function as the bone chilling cold takes its toll. And layers of much heavier materials will now replace the thin summer clothing.
The Ice on the lakes will reach 4 foot thick, and cars will drive out to a spot and drill a hole to fish. I have fond memories of fishing with my dad. Building huge fires on the ice and roasting cheese sandwiches on a forked willow sticks over the open flames. One time a Beaver stuck his head up through my fishin hole and scared the daylights out of me. We’ve learned survival up here and we teach our kids. If you’re caught outside you only have a few minutes to live if you don’t stay warm. So you need to know how to build a fire or burrow down into the snow. An Armistice day storm a few years ago left many dead as the weather changed midday stranding folks outdoors. Some were found standing dead next to small tree’s that were the only obvious cover found.
You travel prepared with blankets, fuel for heat, and a full fuel tank. If you stall you stay with the car and wait for rescue. Starting out on your own can be your death. I remember a Stormy Christmas Eve when our son was stranded at a friend’s house on a farm. My wife was so upset and worried that I set out to get him. The main roads were open but the side roads plugged with snowdrifts. So I walked in the last half mile. The snow was blowing hard and the winds were howling. I could see a dim glow from the house lights so I just kept trudging towards it. Suddenly I fell through the snow ending up some 10 feet below where I was. Snow had drifted up the side of a stalled road Grader and I had walked up and off the other side. Snow had completely covered the huge machine. I got my Son and Christmas was continued with him there with us. There could have been a tragic end. But I am a seasoned hunter and fishermen, spending many hours in the snow or I would not have even considered that journey.
A year ago I spent October in California. It was a 60 degree morning, sun was shining as a set on my daughters patio in a T shirt drinking coffee. Folks were beginning their day and I saw many wearing coats n gloves, one young man blowing leaves in coat and stocking cap and gloves. I remember thinking; these guys need to visit Minnesota once to really experience the cold.
For 60 years I’ve watched the seasons, as one gives way to the next. I’ve thought about goin south ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, But,,,well maybe next year