Return to the Woods

Northwoods Journal

Friday, October 11, 2013

BJ Pumpkin Farm

BJ Pumpkin Farm

My day started out at the pumpkin patch with the 4-year-old preschool class.  While I was having fun at the pumpkin farm, Mark was loading up the FJ so that when I was done, we could hit the road right away.  I left the pumpkin patch at 11:30 and we were pulling out of our driveway by 11:45.

Despite getting on the road so early, between bird hunting, bow season, and fall color, traffic was heavy all the way up.  It was still heavy when we hit M33, so Mark decided to take the back roads the rest of the way up.  Our trusty gazzetter got left behind at home but between the two of us we remembered all the myriad twists and turns and arrived safely just before 4:30.  That’s about average time but for some reason it just felt like it took longer.

I was thrilled to see there is still plenty of fall color, even if we are about a week past peak.  The color along the back roads was marvelous and especially beautiful when it’s a backdrop for the patchwork quilt of newly harvested farm fields.  We saw two young deer on the drive up.  They crossed right in front of us on one of the back roads.

We were not able to come up for Elk Fest, due to Mark having an important project for work, but Katy and Pete came up without us and Katy said the birds were really active.  So, I put the feeders out first thing.  It didn’t take long at all for the blue jays to find the peanuts.  White-breasted nuthatches and hairy woodpeckers quickly followed.

Hungry blue jays were waiting for our return.

Hungry blue jays were waiting for our return.

It was very warm, warmer outside than inside!  Of course, Daisy barely let us get everything unpacked before she was nagging to go for a hike.  After more than 4 ½ hours in the car, we didn’t want to drive far so Mark just drove down to Sportsmen Rd. and we hiked a bit of the power line.  We went to the watershed area where we saw the kingfisher earlier this summer and with the ferns down we were able to get right up to the water’s edge.  The aspens were a beautiful yellow on the far side.  (Click on any photo to see a larger view.)

Colorful aspens.

Colorful aspens.

It was dinnertime when we got back.  Mark decided it was warm enough to eat out on the porch, where we could enjoy the comings and goings of all the birds and watch the leaves drifting down.  A few of our neighbors are up but it was still very peaceful sitting there in the gloaming.  Our woods are filled with lovely color, even if many of the leaves have already fallen.

The view from our porch.

The view from our porch.

One of the nice things about it getting dark early is that we could have a campfire without having to stay up late.  We heard two different owls calling and got to watch the half-moon slowly rise.  We also saw the International Space Station fly right overhead!  That was cool and Mark was happy because he had missed it the night before at our house, even though he went out when the news had said to.

I have been sick for a week and by 8:30 my cough had started back up and it was time for another round of medicine.  We were both tired so it was early to bed.

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2 Responses to Return to the Woods

  1. Beautiful colors! Sorry that you’re not feeling well.

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  2. I was so thrilled there was some good color left. I was worried that it would mostly be gone. I am feeling much better now, thank you. I had awful laryngitis for more than a week and my voice is just now beginning to return to normal. Thankfully the cough has finally cleared up!

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