Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The falls at nineteen degrees

I took an afternoon walk by Minnehaha Falls. As I left my car I noted the temperature was 19 degrees, a sign that winter is setting in earnestly. The water over the fall is just a dribble, a sign that we are experiencing a kind of cold weather drought. The icicles are forming and the water in the creek is firming up, but the dramatic ice dams of previous years have yet to form. The stairs down to the creek level are closed, but still passable, so I went down for the photo and for a walk along the creek.

There were very few people out today, just the guys from Prairie Restoration who are burning brush and cleaning up the areas that they are turning into areas with more native plants. I stopped and talked to a couple of the guys who were tending a fire down towards the big river. I asked if they knew the Prairie Princess, who had worked there about a year and a half ago, and they said they did. The guys, Nathan and John, wondered what PP was up to, and I explained her decision to go to grad school and her current location. I walked to the Mississippi and back without encountering any other "tourists." I guess it's too cold for December meandering. The sun is low in the sky and there wasn't a lot of sun in the creek valley to photograph. We are only two weeks from the winter solstice.

The leaves are gone and the form of the hill can be seen from the bottom. This is the way I chose to go back up to the top of the hill.

The sign at the top of the steps indicates premature closing of the stairs.

Winter is here.


BDE said...

The sign seems to indicate that only the first step is closed. I do not like the falls photo as it proves (along with your narrative) that winter is here. Sigh.

Santini said...

Lovely winter scenes -- the falls never disappoints.