Beautiful and Busy Autumn

We enjoyed peak fall colors
toward the end of September
which was also quite cool.
A series of morning frosts
 left the remaining vegetation 
 shrouded in frozen fog,
 nipped the last remnants of the gardens.
 and opened the milkweed pods.
 October brought another warm-up
 and the subtler colors of late autumn.
Some of the sunrises and sunsets were spectacular.
Bubba is moving into winter mode, following the sun from window to window
for warm naps.
The deer are getting bolder
checking out the gardens in broad daylight.
One night the coyotes were yowling more loudly and much longer than usual;
it turns out that they had brought down a buck, who perhaps had been wounded (it's deer bow-hunting season),
and spent the night feasting on the carcase.
All the next day birds finished cleaning up -- eagles, ravens, crows
and turkey vultures.
The Farmers have been enjoying many of the area's fall activities,
taking in a Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College volleyball game
(the Thunder lost)
a FDLTCC football game

(the Thunder lost)
and a College for Seniors course on mushrooms

taught by friend nd neighbor Larry Weber, whose new book
Webwood: Seasons of Life in the North Woods
has just been published.
They also attended a concert given by Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard

at friend and neighbor Paula's barn just down the road
and the Manhattan Short Film Festival at friends and neighbors Janaki and Annie's barn a few miles away.
Unfortunately, a favorite hiking area -- 360 acres of wild state land just down Pioneer Road in our neighborhood --
is currently being logged;

it's no longer a gorgeous, quiet, pristine place to walk.
The wildlife has scattered, and a hunter's car sits abandoned in the middle of the mucky new road.
The area offers lots of other outdoor opportunities, however.  The Farmers have dusted off their bicycles and are exploring
the Munger Trail, which runs 63 miles from Duluth to Hinkley.

The initial foray was a modest 16 mile roundtrip from Mahtowa
to Barnum, but longer journeys are planned for the spring.

The trail features lovely rural scenery
and freedom from car and truck traffic.
Back at the Farm, the goats are enjoying the unseasonably warm October and exhibiting the craziness of breeding season.
Two of Alba's spring triplets
and Crema

returned for a visit that was mainly supposed to get them used to being around a buck in anticipation of breeding.
Of course, they were much more interested in renewing acquaintances with Dreamy and Alba

-- Hi, Mom! --

and in checking out
and fighting with Lassi and Kona.
Mr. T and Niblet kept a close eye on the action

with the hormonally addled Mr. T

blubbering away at any of the girls who came near.