Autumn gold 3889_StaatsNovember is a transition month in Minnesota;  our weather can be anywhere from warm and sunny to gray and cold, rain or snow to wind or calm.  It seems like we’ve covered all these bases in the past few days.  Early in the week I took this image of the brilliant colors of a cotoneaster in our yard.  As the morning sun lit the leaves they came alive with a beautiful glow; perhaps it was their swan song.  By Wednesday morning we awoke to two inches of wet snow gracing the golds and reds in the remaining leaves.  Thursday night our temperatures plummeted below freezing, followed by strong winds on Friday.  The leaf colors were killed off by the cold, and the leaves themselves were blown off the trees and bushes to the ground.  Within a few days the colors and leaves of autumn had given way to the skeletal trees of winter.