September Chill

The first significant chill of the season enveloped Columbia this morning; the overnight low was in the upper forties (F).  At Forum Nature Area, in the Hinkson Creek Valley, patchy fog covered the floodplain and steam rose from the seasonal lake.

Goldenrod, sunflowers, thistle and purple ironweed provided color amidst the fading greenery, which shimmered with dew in the bright September sun.  Invigorated by the morning chill, flocks of restless Canada geese circled above the refuge while barred owls called from the creekside woodlands.  Out on the misty lake, great blue and green herons stalked the shallows and noisy killdeer raced along the mudflats.

Humans seemed to enjoy this respite from muggy summer heat as much as the wildlife and a steady parade of visitors, most with their canine companions, moved along the graveled trail.  While more heat will surely invade the region, this morning's chill signals that summer is losing its grip on the Heartland. The glorious days of autumn lie ahead.