October 4, 2007 at 8:38 a.m.

Some fall thoughts . . .

Some fall thoughts . . .
Some fall thoughts . . .

This morning I watched the low, dark clouds scudding across the sky and the gusty south winds blow leaves from the trees and I was pleasantly reminded that October has finally arrived.

October and November always seem to come and go too quickly. I suppose it seems that way because I, like so many other outdoor enthusiasts, anxiously await its arrival many months beforehand. I do like summer, don't get me wrong, but summer really isn't my season of choice. I consider it to be a hot, sticky and physically uncomfortable period of time sandwiched between more temperate seasons.

As the days grow shorter during the fall months, wildlife quickens its pace. Winter is fast approaching. If you're attentive and watchful for the next two months, you can almost sense urgency in the behavior of animals and birds as the fall-to-winter transition unfolds. Deer fatten themselves in preparation for the lean grazing and browsing months ahead, while waterfowl and songbirds feed in earnest to prepare for their long migrations to warmer climates.

I know I won't get done half the things I'd like to get done this fall. Plans are a funny thing sometimes. They're easy to make, but far more difficult to keep. I have set aside one overnight trip back to the woods of my youth with my brother. We're going to hunt grouse up near Remer and Grand Rapids, MN. I'd also like to walk the woods at least a few times this fall with my son, Anders. We'll choose to look for grouse on a bright and colorful day and we'll bring a good lunch with us. When the time is right, we'll find a sturdy log to sit on while we eat, rest and share each other's company. Whether we flush any birds is completely irrelevant.

What is important is that we all get out and enjoy the remaining days of fall. They can't be wasted. Time doesn't wait. We are only afforded a couple of turns of the calendar each year to take pleasure in these days, so we need to make the best of them.

Dan Brown's weekly outdoor column is brought to you by Frankie's Bait and Marine, in Chisago City, and St. Croix Outdoors, in St. Croix Falls, Wis.


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