I know … you are feeling the same way as me, especially if you’re a Midwesterner and accustomed to the change in our four seasons, (which often happens more abruptly than we’d like them to). Perhaps I should have taken a photo of my glum face as I turned the calendar page over?
Everything is dropping!
November is not for the faint of heart, especially if you’re a walker. All of a sudden everything is dropping from above … rain, snow, and, of course the temperature is dropping like a rock. And, if you’re not contending with drops, it’s drips, as the cold air causes your nose to run as well. Other walkers suffer the same malady – frozen faces and dripping noses are a fact of life while getting our steps in. Whomever is still walking at the Park on a cold November morn generally gets a mumbled “good morning” through frozen lips. Of course, the critters don’t care if your nose is running and your lips are turning blue, as long as you keep on doling out peanuts.
Yep, precipitation is a pain you know where …
As an avid walker, precip is your enemy, especially rain-slickened leaves on uneven sidewalks … oh, what a treat that is!
A few raindrops here and there on crinkly leaves is acceptable …
… it’s those shiny and slick leaves that you must watch out for.
Since my regular route through the ‘hood to the Park is STILL under construction, I’ve been driving to the Park more and more. So, what might await me there (besides the usual cast of furry and feathered characters)? Well, the pathway is often coated with a thin veil of ice as the overnight precip, be it heavy dew, or even frost, creates dreaded black ice – yikes! Many times I’ve gotten to the Park and opted to walk on the grass where I won’t be slip-slidin’ away. Or, I’ll still get my steps in, often a block or so away, doing laps around a park with no designated path, just walking on the grass.
Let’s not forget about the wicked winds – more joy.
We’re all familiar with Gordon Lighfoot’s song about the ill-fated freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the phrase “when the gales of November came early” – extremely high winds caused waves to reach 25 feet (7.6 meters) just before it sank. We had high winds last night … how fitting for Halloween. While a little wind and spooky noises are one thing, raging winds made the house feel like it was rockin’ and rollin’, so now I know how Dorothy and Toto felt.
Mother Nature was in a bit of a mood last night. After she provided two days of soaking rain, she turned the water spigot off and on went the snow machine moments later, around 9:00 p.m. We’ve not had snow on Halloween since 1993. Then she ramped up the winds, and the combo left an overnight “real-feel” that was in the teens! There was something for everyone, whether we liked the outcome or not! Fellow blogger Wayne commented recently “Mother Nature plays the fiddle and we all dance to the tune.”
Wily winds and critters don’t mix!
The critters don’t like the high winds much either. A few times when I’ve been to Council Point Park on a windy day, the squirrels are scarce, likely afraid to venture out of their nests in the trees. The birds stay put as well – they probably can’t fly straight.
On a recent windy day, take a look at Harry the Heron. His spindly legs were bracing him as he fought to stand upright on the cement landing. His heart was not into fishing for his breakfast, yet he didn’t bolt and screech as he usually does when he sees the whites of my eyes. Harry’s head feathers were reminiscent of Little Rascals’ star Alfalfa, who sported his trademark cowlick; this heron looked a wee bit comical. But I didn’t laugh at Harry. Instead, I gave him a break by taking my shot and moving on quickly so he could ruminate in peace.
This lone squirrel on the perimeter path was trying to see what I was offering. I jiggled the bag of peanuts and he huddled nearby, his bushy tail not flicking or swishing, but instead it was tucked around him, as if he was afraid of the wind …
… or maybe me? Maybe he was cold and using that furry tail as a barrier to the wind. I gave him extra peanuts for being brave and being at ground level, then I had to call it an early day … the winds, gusting 22 – 25 mph (35 – 40 km/h), were not fun for walking. No one wants to feel like a tumbleweed for goodness sake.
[“Hello November” header image courtesy of Pinterest]