Nature offers choice this Thanksgiving

Anyone who enjoys change in nature probably will find happiness this holiday weekend.
The turning season provides a steady stream of fresh scenery and new activities. Trees are powerful symbols of this shift.
Last week, for example, the falling red maple leaves fluttered like butterflies while golden poplars graced the lakeshores like gallant bouquets of prom flowers.
These images help us say goodbye to warm weather, and introduce us to something new.
This weekend, for instance, is the perfect time to pick bog cranberries. The first frosts enhance the tart-tangy flavour of this fruit just in time for your turkey dinner.
Plus the berries contain pectin, so it is easy to prepare. Just combine with butter, sugar, and water in a saucepan and boil before refrigerating with a little lemon juice.
Or you can strain and dilute to make cranberry cider. Either way, the fruit is uniquely abundant in Rainy River District since we have so many wetlands.
The colder weather also is great for walleye fishing. I wasn’t able to catch fish in the summer, but now I catch my limit.
I’m told this is because as the water cools, it “turns over.” Colder, heavier water sinks to the bottom while warmer, lighter water remains at the surface.
The mixing of oxygen and nutrients stimulates the walleye to bite.
Just hook a minnow to a jig, bob close to lake bottom ridges, and haul them in. Then consider frying your fish over an open fire.
A fire is very inviting with the cooler weather, and earlier nightfall. Plus, there’s time leftover to star gaze before bedtime.
But, of course, if visiting a bog or a lake isn’t your preference, then there is always the forest. Some will go grouse hunting while others will enjoy simply going for a walk.
Not only do the bare trees provide a wide view of the landscape, but the forest floor is a carpet of colour, especially where there is mixed vegetation.
Yolk-coloured leaves are peppered with interesting spots, and mix beautifully with campfire reds. Also, the emerald club mosses are a lush contrast against the sprinkling of smoky orange pine needles.
By sitting quietly, you’ll also see and hear the sparrows with their “Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada, Canada” song, which is a milder version of the song you hear in spring.
And you can get close to juncos and whisky jacks at this time of year. You might even want to try feeding them by hand.
Whatever your preference, by carving out some time, there is a lot to see and do here in Sunset Country this holiday weekend.
Tell me about your own cabin or outdoors experiences by e-mailing

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