Saturday, October 26, 2013

Legends of the Fall - Predicting a Long, Cold Winter

Massive bull elk express their dominance

It's October so the haunting calls of wild beasts permeate the crisp air. The elk are in a frenzy and massive bulls bellow to express their dominance. Up here, the yearly cycle includes windy transitions that usher in four incredibly distinct seasons.

Fall is special because of the mild weather and beautiful colors. Autumn always presents some striking juxtapositions. The orange ground is broken by fresh snow, pale aspen are set against dark pine and pure white peaks pierce the shimmering blue sky.

The Mount Evans Road is closed and the birds have already flown south. A few red squirrels are busily gathering nuts while a pair of woodpeckers uncharacteristically share a tree. The forest is quiet but look closely, a little woolly bear is ominously distinguished by its narrow, orange band. It's going to be a long, cold winter.

The elk rut occurs in October

The haunting calls are legendary

Mount Evans Road is closed

Fall colors

Orange ground is broken by fresh snow

Buffalo Park, Evergreen

Fall is special

There are four distinct seasons

Most of the birds have flown south

The woolly bear caterpillar is a predictor of winter weather (via IronChris)

4 comments:

  1. The elk are beautiful - we don't see those around here. I hope it's not a long cold winter! I personally would prefer a short, milder one. Stay warm Dan!

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    1. We're trying to stay warm here. The winters are usually long with most of the snow coming late. If the woolly bear caterpillar has a narrow orange band it means a harsh winter, a wide band means a mild winter. I'm hearing reports of narrow bands. Nature's never wrong is it?

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