we collected this assortment of beaver sticks on a recent hike around pike island–a twin cities gem, sitting at the confluence of the mississippi and minnesota rivers at the base of the bluffs where fort snelling is perched. a three mile trail rings the island, and the half mile walk down from the bluff plus the half mile back up to the parking lot, makes for a perfect 4 mile workout for me, my puggle, and, if i’m lucky, my hubby. we walk in the shade of ancient cottonwoods, among wild turkeys, gulls, ducks and geese, bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, whitetail deer, and the meticulously destructive work of the resident beavers. one winter day, a network of otter slides converged on a single hole in the ice. on another day, an exquisitely ripe carp carcass called to our puggle, jack, who followed the call of the wild over a shallow ridge onto the river beach, where he wallowed and rolled in the delicious putrefaction for several minutes before we noticed he was missing. the car ride home was an experience only dog lovers could enjoy.
beaver gnawed sticks
pike island, saint paul, minnesota
mallow seed pods (malva, malvaceae)
gunflint lodge, minnesota
for me, russet and gray defines november: russet oak leaves against a gray sky, russet-colored pine needles lining the edges of a gray gravel walking path, russet cattail leaves frozen into the steely gray ice of our lake. it all says november. and only november. by december it will all be white.
grey beach rocks from lake superior, and russet-colored white cedar leaves from my yard
when the temperatures first turn cold and there is still a lot of moisture in the air, our mornings look like like someone sprinkled powdered sugar on the entire city while we slept. i am finding that i really like these edges of seasons. the in-between times when twice as much is happening.
november morning frost
my backyard, saint paul, minnesota