Autumn is well upon us

Before dawn was breaking Monday morning, I left my home heading to work. As I went down the stairs at my side door, the golden leaves from the Manitoba maple crunched under the soles of my shoes.
I looked up and almost all the leaves had fallen from the two trees that guard my driveway. Fall has really come to our region.
On the lake over the weekend, the gold of the ash, poplar, and paper birch stood out from the pines that cover the land. The brilliant red leaves of the occasional maple broke up the brilliant gold colours.
For three days, the lake was almost calm and the trees were totally reflected in the water. The stillness of the days and the warmth of the sun would hardly place last weekend at the end of September.
Yes, we are into autumn.
Leaving my yard, I began hearing the cawing of crows. I looked up and hundreds were flying overhead headed in a southwest direction. As I watched, stragglers and secondary groups of crows were winging as hard as they could to catch the main group.
Last week, walking along the river by the Sorting Gap Marina, seagulls had rafted together as if beginning the process of leaving our area after being here for more than six months.
At the cabin over the weekend, we would hear the occasional boom of shotguns in the distance, mostly at break of day. The ducks that normally are found wandering around the island have disappeared.
A partridge found its way to our front step on Friday evening. It must be used to us because as I approached, it moved a few feet away so that I could open the door and go into the cabin. It seemed to have no fear of me.
The rabbits now stand out more against the fallen leaves.
It has been a good year for them. I think the mother has had at least two families over the course of the spring and summer. At least a couple have made a home under our main cabin while the rest seem to wander about and pay no attention to anyone.
Occasionally one might see a young bunny scampering across the yard and dart under the cabin.
The red squirrels, meanwhile, have dropped all the pine cones and scarcely were heard over the weekend. They seem to have grown thicker coats in anticipation of the coming winter.
The process of closing up cabins and hauling in boats is beginning. Looking ahead to the Thanksgiving weekend, with dropping temperatures, we made a decision to drain our water system.
We will make at least one more trip to the cabin before we decide to empty the shelves and fridge.
It is that time of year. But on a warm weekend like this, one wonders how much longer the fine summery days will last.

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