Early winter moonset 70201_StaatsOur weather has been cooler since Thanksgiving when we had a bit of snowfall.  The consistent cold temps have allowed ice to form on our lakes and ponds.  With the promise of a crisp and clear morning I headed to the nearby golf course, not knowing what to expect.  What I found was a beautiful dawn with pink skies, a full moon that was slowly making its journey to the horizon line, a frozen pond without snow cover that provided a beautiful soft reflection to the trees, and a wonderful stillness and peace that prevailed in the early hours.  The warning signs for “Thin Ice” have already been placed, and some of the ducks and geese are being forced to larger lakes as they search for open water.  Slowly we are moving into winter.

With delightful autumn weather forecast for the day, we headed out before sunrise this morning to Wild River State Park.  This Minnesota park is north of the Twin Cities and is located on the St. Croix River. Although there was the promise of afternoon temps in the upper 70’s, the morning had a cool feel to it.  We drove down to the canoe landing on the river and could see the fingers of fog stretching into the air and creating a veil over the fall colors on the Wisconsin shoreline.  As we turned the opposite direction facing away from the river, we were greeted by the full moon as it was making its way behind the hillside.  The prairie stretched out before us filled with golden grasses;  the birdhouses were empty at this early time of the morning.  The hillside was brilliant with the colors of fall – golds, oranges, reds – all in a hush before the sunlight brought them out into a blaze of bright color.  Silently we watched the moon descend behind the hill and turned our attentions back to the river, accompanied by the geese and the ducks that were flying by.