Yesterday, we drove west along the Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor, also-known-as I-44, to the Shaw Nature Reserve, for a walk in the country. Part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, this land was acquired in the early 20th-century, when air pollution in Saint Louis from burning coal threatened the garden’s collection of plants. It was a cold, grey day, but bundled up we kept warm, mostly. At least the chill served to keep us moving. I had packed a lunch, but it was too cold to even contemplate stopping to eat. As you can see, there were fall colors, but compared with past years, they are still quite muted. I don’t know if the colors will develop further or if our recent spate of dry weather is the real culprit.
In all of the creeks and wetlands the water was way down or even nonexistent. Surprisingly though, the foliage did not seem to have suffered much from drought. It was not very crowded and we saw only a few other visitors during our rambles. If not for the quite audible roar of the adjacent highway, our commune with nature would have left us almost completely alone. On our way home, we stopped at a gas station for hot chocolate and coffee. That and the car’s heater served to warm our chilled bones. Below is a similar shot from late November, 2014 that is still our computer’s wallpaper. It was taken at the magic hour, on what was a much more sunny day.