The cooler temperatures and fluttering leaves can only mean one thing here in the soon to be Great White North....Fall is here. I spent the bulk of my Saturday out enjoying its arrival. As you can see from the pictures the new season just makes the landscape here that much more breathtaking.
All of my 'neighbors' are giving hints to the changing season as well. The salmon have finished the morphing of their bodies and have reached their freshwater breeding territories. They aren't jumping in the bay any longer and have moved to the terminal phase of their stream run. Luckily while they were moving - I was able to stock my freezer full so I can remember them all winter with a little garlic butter!!
The bears are hording all of the remaining salmon and berries they can as their hibernation is in the very near future. Fall bears are some of the most aggressive as they are looking for their last few meals anywhere they can find it. They have been spotted all around town, as close as a block over from where I live. That means any hiking trips must be taken with necessary precautions.
The moose are heading to the hills to begin their mating rituals and will return soon with their enormous antlers in full view for the winter. They are a permanent fixture through the year and are a real hazard on the winter roads.
As for the humans, we are enjoying some beautiful weather, as evident in this picture. The temps are in the 40's but the sun is out and the sky is clear so we have nothing to complain about. For my little adventure on Saturday I took in the sights along some of the local rivers. I came across and inviting Jeep trail and couldn't resist - boy was that a mistake! About 30 minutes later I was a little weary of where exactly this trail was going to lead. It started out pretty clear and picturesque and then before I knew it - I was nearly vertical headed down along a cliff face. Quite breathtaking in more ways than one!! After about an hour I made it back to civilization with all auto and human parts still in tact.
At the ASLC we are preparing for the impending winter by doing a lot of cleaning and prep work out on all the outdoor laboratory areas. That means most of my time is spent with a scrub brush in hand when I am working in the science end of my job. When I am working on the visitor services end of things, I am focusing on program development as it seems that someone has turned the tourist fountain off and our numbers have dwindled dramatically.
I am relieved to hear that all of my friends and family in Texas made it through the storm. Hopefully in the near future I'll have pictures to share from our first snow - it should be here within the next few weeks. Each morning when I get up it is obvious that the snow is creeping down from the mountains all around me, it will be upon us soon!
Hope this post finds everyone else enjoying the change of seasons - wherever you might be!
Take care - Nikki