Our fall colors have been changing rapidly.  Knowing that they won’t be lasting much longer, I took a day off work and left the house before 6:00am.  I drove southeast in the darkness and caught up with the Mississippi River.  On a bluff above the river in Frontenac State Park I enjoyed the quiet and beauty of daybreak over the Mississippi.  The morning was cool and coated the grasses and fall flowers with a light dew.  And yet as the sun rose there was the promise of a warm Indian summer day ahead.  As I focused my camera down the river to Lake Pepin I heard a rustling in the grasses to my right.  Just as I glanced in that direction, a large doe leapt through the little bluestem and bounded down the hill — the only sound breaking the quiet.  I spent the remainder of this warm day wandering the hillsides and bluffs on either side of the Mississippi River, in Wisconsin and Minnesota.   The following days were windy and blustery, and I’m certain many of the remaining leaves found their way down to the ground.  In the short span of this past week, the landscape has changed dramatically, getting closer to the inevitable first hard frost and winter.

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