Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

A Cold and Misty Start to October

Frosty Path

It was such a great morning; I couldn’t resist hopping on my bike and snapping a few pictures.


It was cold, but definitely worth it!

Mist on Calm Waters

These pictures were shot in Watertown, MN at Riverpointe Park.

My Favorite Tree

One of my favorite trees in the park!

Shallow Crow River

Shallow waters on the South Crow River.

Trees on the Path

Natural carnage. Could be old, could be tornado!

Purple Holdouts

No one told them it’s fall!

Misty Dock

The little fishing dock.


Chasing Sun and Fall Colors

Scenic BywayLast night The Hub and I took a drive before dinner.  We went along Skyline Parkway, a local Scenic Byway through Duluth, up to Hawk’s Ridge and Seven Bridges Road.  With camera bag in hand, we set out to chase the sun and capture a few shots of the fall colors before they disappear.


Up The Shore

Last year we had a devastating flood in Duluth that wiped out many roads and bridges.  This part of Seven bridges Road is still being fixed around Amity Creek (yes, I say “crick” when I read/write this) but we were able to get pretty far before it was closed off.  You can see the beautiful colors looking north along Lake Superior.

 Waterfall on Amity Creek

Our adventure didn’t last long, courtesy of earlier sunsets, and we were forced to call it a night and head back for supper.  I decided that if I was up early enough the next day I would try and get some more shots.  Luckily I’m a morning person.

Bridge through Shrubs

Just past 6:30 I rolled one eye at the clock.  Glancing around the room I was able to see that it was still dark out, the sun was yet to rise.  I jumped up and ran for my camera bag, barely taking time to brush my teeth before running out the door.  You know, just in case I had to talk to someone.

Enger Drive

I raced the impending ball of fire across town to get up to Enger Park, the highest point at which you can see everything in the cityUpon reaching the entrance I found the gate not yet open.  The sign said closed from ten at night to six in the morning.  I figured that meant it was open.  I hopped out of the car, flung my camera bag around my shoulder, and took off up the hill, hoping that my car would still be there when I returned.


Brush Turning

As I hurried up the road to the park I couldn’t help but hear a great deal of rustling in the fallen leaves.  I tried to pay more attention to my pounding heart and reassured myself frequently that it was just squirrels.  Duluth is an urban forest where bears, wild cats, and wolves are known to hang out.  I crossed my fingers again that these were just squirrels.


When I got around the corner, the sun was just popping up, absolutely illuminating Enger Tower perfectly.  Some good shots there, then off to the path overlooking the city; breathtaking.  I could see the brush turning colors looking toward the Aerial Lift Bridge in Canal Park and the opposite direction over west Duluth.  There were some flowers trying unsuccessfully to hang on to the last of their petals.

Yellow TreeLeaves on PathThere was an eeriness being up there all alone, or at least without other people.  I felt very aware of every movement around me.  I snapped a few more photos of the naked birch, an empty path, and even looking up into a bright yellow tree before an employee drove up.  I made my way back down the drive,  relieved when my car came into view.

Looking over West Duluth


Rose Garden

Crossing back through downtown I noticed more colors in Leif Erickson Park.  I hiked around a little more, getting a great view of the rose garden in autumn splendor and a good shot of the Lakewalk along Lake Superior.  I wondered why I was getting odd looks form the early morning walkers.  Perhaps it was because even though I brushed my teeth, I forgot to comb my hair.  Oh well, at least I changed out of my pajamas.     

Lakewalk Thru LE

Small Autumn Fixes for Big Rewards


I love that the weather is getting cooler and we are seeing the temperatures drop into the thirties.  That means it’s time to do a little fall maintenance around the house to prepare for the long winter.  Even if you don’t live “Up North”, these small fixes can make for a much more relaxing winter and spring.

  • Spring and summer can be tough on flooring.  Now is the perfect time to have your carpets cleaned for quick drying.
  • Check and repair any issues that have occurred over the summer with your roof or rain gutters.  No one wants to have someone on the roof in January.  Well, not in Minnesota anyway!  Remove leaves and debris from the gutters and check downspouts.
  • Weatherize your windows and doors by applying or re-applying weather stripping to keep the heat in this winter.
  • Touch-up any paint that is in need of help inside or out.  Now is the time to spruce up stale colors inside.  For a small amount of money you can get a great return on your investment.  And with cooler temps and lower humidity, you can open up windows to hasten the drying process.


  • Make sure to rake up the leaves and aerate your yard before the snow flies.  If you have a garden, turn that over and winterize that as well to save a little time and effort in the spring.  Double check shrubs and bushes for last minute trimmings before their winter sleep.
  • Have your furnace checked and cleaned.  This should be done by a professional, and it’s worth it.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to install one.  This can be a DIY project, or inquire with your furnace guy.
  • It used to be a nightmare, but nowadays many ovens are self-cleaning.  Give yourself a break and clean your oven while you can still air out your kitchen!  Scrub up the stovetop and hood also.  If you’re really feeling adventurous, tackle the fridge and freezer.  You will be very thankful come holiday time.
  • Pick a rainy day and clean out closets and dressers.  Kids are notorious for packing away stuff.  This is a great time to teach them about philanthropy by making a big donation when you’re done.  This is also the best way to prepare and store summer clothing for next year and make room for heavier winter wear.
  • And of course, especially for us up here, check over and tune up the old snow blower.  Winterize your lawn mower and weed trimmer for next year.  A little TLC in the fall goes a long way next spring!

John Deere

7 Sensational Activities to Fall For

Untouched Birch

On this morning’s walk I noticed that the leaves are beginning to change in a few trees.  I saw numerous school busses and kids walking with backpacks that looked to equal their own body weight.  Yes, my favorite time of year is upon us, autumn.  Football has just started, they’re advertising the hockey opener, and we can actually turn on the oven again in my free-from-central-air century-old house.  Ah, fall.

I have always listed this as my favorite season, hands down and without a doubt.  So in honor of that, I have compiled a list of activities that I like to do or would like to try.  They may be a little “Up North” specific, but you can extrapolate them to your area with little difficulty, I’m sure.

  1.  Fall color leaf-peep.  This is the perfect time of the year for a trip to the country to check out the multitude of colors and maybe enjoy a picnic.
  2. Many hotels in our area are moving to off-season rates.  What better reason to get in one last getaway to somewhere quiet before the snow flies?  My pick in our neighborhood would be somewhere further north, maybe up to the AmericInn in Roseau, Minnesota.  Up by the Canadian border, the city affords the leisure-seeker many opportunities for meandering and decompressing.  The hotel looks like a great place with all the amenities I would need.  (Mental note, check schedule for getaway!)
  3. Take a drive along some of our Scenic Byways.  It’s kind of like letting someone else do the leg-work to find the best scenery and attractions.  We have plenty in Minnesota, but the website shows all of them, and they’re everywhere!  These routes are great for a short drive or a longer trip with overnight stops.
  4. And speaking of overnight stops, don’t forget about all of the great state and national parks.  Many of them have campgrounds, and what better way to enjoy all of what fall has to offer than sleeping out under the stars?  If camping isn’t your bag, there surely are lodging facilities nearby, or just make it a day trip to the park.  You will love it, either way.
  5. Go for a rock pick.  If you don’t live near the water, you may be scratching your head at this one!  Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved to pick rocks.  I thought maybe it was some sort of isolated, weird habit until three of my sisters-in-law revealed they also shared my infatuation.  On their last visit here we scoured the shores of Lake Superior and found some nice little treasures for them to take home.  Seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
  6. The Bayfield, Wisconsin Apple Festival.  Taking place this year on October 4th-6th, you’ll find everything imaginable made with apples.   The tiny town of fifteen thousand swells to the seams when 50,000+ converge here for the weekend.    We like to make the sojourn on Sunday for the parade and afterwards walk through over 150 arts and crafts exhibits.   It’s definitely a treat for the taste buds that shouldn’t be missed.
  7. What autumn to-do list would be complete without an Oktoberfest activity?  Here in Duluth we have Oktoberfest coming up in just a few weeks.  Since I am married to a full-blooded German, this is a big deal in my house.  In fact, the first time I attended an Oktoberfest function I found myself in a hotly contested Polka contest.  I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.  But if you are looking for a good time, even if you’re not a dancer or beer (das boot) chugger, check out an Oktoberfest.  I promise you’ll have fun.  Have you ever seen a picture of someone scowling in lederhosen?

So there you have it, my top seven things to do in this, my favorite, fall season.  Do you have other traditions?  Maybe you can start a new one this year.

Falling For Color, A Pictorial

Summer is giving in to fall.  The last of the flowers are blooming, getting ready to call it a year.  We decided to take a hike and check out the beauty of northern Minnesota before all the color was done.  This unique flower was in Enger Park.

I can’t imagine living somewhere that doesn’t get to experience this time of year.  To see a bright green leaf turn red or yellow is a true testament of nature’s splendor.  It’s no wonder that many in our area say this is their favorite time of the year.

Peering through the woods now you can still feel the warmth of the sun.  It won’t be long before this is blanketed in white.

This is the side view of Enger Tower located at the top of the city of Duluth, MN.  It’s not the end of the world—but I think you can see it from here!  This is one of the greatest places in the Twin Ports to look out over the cities of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin.

This is another view of Enger Tower.  You can see there is a great deal of rock situated around the tower.  This is just one of many rock formations you’ll find located “on the hillside”.  There is a winding scenic highway that goes through town where you can stop and see many of these formations.

This is the view from the top of the hill.  It looks out over Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world.  Boats like this are frequent visitors to the international seaport.  The Aerial Lift Bridge—connecting downtown Duluth with Canal Park– raises up to let boats pass through to the docks.

This view is beyond the Lift Bridge into the Park Point section of Duluth.  It stretches out for about four miles into the harbor.  It is lined with houses on both sides and a handful of businesses are mixed in.  There is an airport at the end along with the public beach and boat launch.  This is a great place to put a boat in and putt around the harbor.  You can get very close to the big boats and Canal Park or head the other direction and wind along the St Louis River Bay around Superior, WI or the western Duluth area.

I loved the look of this lone leaf.  It was kind of like the last one on that branch trying to hold out.  Maybe it thought if it didn’t fall it could hold off winter (and heavy snow!) for us.  Hey, a girl can dream!

Just as sure as that lone leaf is going to fall, this little guy has to prepare for winter.  It will be a long time with no readily available food.  Lucky for him there is an abundance in the Minnesota autumn woods.