Winter is on its way

Friday afternoon saw Jim Brow and me travelling to Kenora for a swim meet, which always takes place on the same weekend in November.
Historically at this time of year, most of the lakes and creeks are iced over. In some years, there already are snowbanks along the sides of the highway.
As such, we allowed ourselves lots of time for the drive.
We knew we had to arrive at a school just before 5 p.m. to do some teaching, so driving a little slower, we were able to watch the sides of the road and into the trees for wildlife. The sky was clouded over and a dampness hung in the air, yet the air temperature hovered above freezing.
Rarely is it this warm for this swim meet. This year, the only lake that appeared to have ice on it was Caliper just before Nestor Falls. Creeks still were running and, in places, only a skin of ice covered water in the ditches.
Fall is holding on in our country and refusing to give way to winter.
Once we reached north of Crow Lake, we saw lots of hunters in their blaze orange suits. In the mid-afternoon, they were coming out of the bush and putting their guns away, though no one appeared successful.
We occasionally would overtake a half-ton with hunters driving slowly along the highway.
This is a changing time of year—that period where we can hardly wait for the browns and tans of grass and gravel to be covered by a dusting of fluffy snow.
As we travelled north of Sioux Narrows, a snowplow actually had pushed snow off the road and a thin bank existed. The roads were dry and any melting only appeared on the edges.
The only place with boats still in the water was Kenora, where several were tied to a dock below the Shopper’s Drug Mart. At night, the lights from street lamps and homes sparkled and reflected over the waters of Lake of the Woods.
With all the leaves down, one can look deep into the landscape. The shrubbery that, in summer, normally blocks out the forest floor is barren and all the dead fall can be seen—and you almost believe you can see through the forest.
We only saw a single deer and it had chosen a safe location to be eating grass. It was the lawn of an OPP station.
On Sunday, we awoke to a light powder covering the roads and rocks. The snow seemed to cleanse the dreariness of the day.
Winter is on its way.

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