Indian Summer

Gone to Seed

This last October was one of the wettest months on record.  I mentioned in a previous post that when we took Rey to see the Arch that we parked down on the levee.  After four hours at the Arch the water had visibly risen by the time that we returned to the car.  Now, not only is the levee where we parked under water, but so is Wharf Street the road at the base of the Arch, the road that we drove in on.  Having endured almost a month of rain here Rey might have gone away thinking that Saint Louis is as wet as Seattle.  Normally it is not.  Fall is usually the pick season for weather in Saint Louis.  With a northern winter and a southern summer it is certainly neither of those two seasons.  Spring here is usually way too short.  I had almost given up on having an Indian summer this year.  But have no fear, this week it has arrived.  I consulted my Missouri conservationist’s calendar for a catalog of seasonal nature events and came up with this list of timely events:

  • Groundhogs go to sleep in their underground dens.  They dream all winter there of Bill Murray and Groundhog Day.  This movie by the same title is considered to be the masterpiece of Harold Ramis of Animal House and Ghostbusters fame and a Washington University alumni.
  • Now is the time to listen to the last of the cricket calls.  When I went biking this last weekend, I rode through some of the restored prairie in the Park.  The cricket calls were already few and far between.
  • Look out for Mallards!  Right now they are the water fowl that have the Park’s ponds pretty much to themselves.
  • Look for old bird nests while walking through the woods.  Some will not survive the winter.  Some will survive, but never be reused.  Some with a little work will become a new home in the spring.
  • The Canada goose population is suppose be peaking about now, but I’m not seeing it in the Park this year.  I’m guessing that the annual molt season culling in the Park has had its impact.  Oh well, I might not have to put on my bike fenders to shield me from goose poop on the bike trail come spring thaw.
  • Soon most leaves will have fallen and have blanketed the forest floor.  I’d say that about half have fallen already.  In a few weeks Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.  In a few weeks more winter will follow.  Time marches on!

Tuesday was election day in RegenAxe land.  Anne worked the polls from 5 AM to 7 PM.  She got up at 4 AM and was out of the house before 5 AM.  This got me up to go biking before work.  I decided to bike over to my polling place and vote first thing off, like before I got sweaty and stinky.  I showed up at the polling place at 5:30 AM.  I was wearing my usual winter ninja biking outfit.  I succeeded in scaring the crap out of one elderly poll workers.  As it turned out the polls didn’t actually open until six.  So, I mounted up again and biked around the Park.  I returned to try voting one more time and this time I was successful.  I got seventeen miles.

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