Two cranes, soft and grey, eat together, tiptoeing through the wet, yellow grasses. They eat in silence, gingerly stepping around each other in small circles, heads down, softly grabbing at marshy treats, just the trills of birds and chitter of red squirrels for dinner music.
The pond is shallow and settled, clear as can be and full of darting minnows. Its glassy surface reflects the golden tamarack tree line and the brilliant blue sky. Spider threads connect all of the surrounding grasses and dried out wildflowers: a haphazard highway of gossamer, billowing and glimmering in the breeze.
These are the perfect days of late autumn, warm and crisp, perfect for hiking, and exploring the myriad forms of mushrooms that, given a little moisture, make a showing this time of year. Yellow, firm chicken of the woods; shaggy, translucent lion’s mane; and the perfect tan half-moons of birch polypores are just some of the dependable fungi that decorate these fall woods. Felled trees are like the paper doors on an advent calendar, each one holding a different botanical surprise, and propel one to wander further on a warm fall day.
But too early the day changes. The bright daylight gives way to long shadows over the pond, and the air takes on a sweet-smelling chill. This has been such a warm, dry, drawn-out fall, these shorter days seem out of place. “It’s too soon!” comes a plea in vain, as the blue sky fills with white wispy cross-hatchings of prismatic ice. Rusty leaves fall fast, as I crunch my way back home. It’s hard to believe that as we cling to the fading autumn, we have an arbitrary system in place to make these days end an hour earlier, to slam the book on hope, and compel us to accept that another warm season has concluded, and the long, quiet winter will soon begin.
Your weekend forecast
Winds of the north should help to keep the area dry and cool Friday. There are chances for rain and/or snow for the weekend through at least Monday morning. Saturday winds create some disturbance by adding moisture from the southwest as the next surface system approaches the region.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 42.
Saturday: A chance of morning snow, then a chance of rain and snow midmorning. Otherwise cloudy and rainy, with a high near 43.
Sunday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50.
All weather predictions are based in science with information gathered from the National Weather Service, and are subject to change depending on the weather.
Growing up in Michigan, Ryan Heise began keeping a fishing journal detailing the weather conditions and can still recall his hometown weatherman’s name. His fascination with weather has never wavered and began to heighten when planning surf trips while living in Florida. Now proud to call Door County home along with his wife Mary and dog Ruby, he has found a new fascination with the unique microclimate of Door County.