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Conservation-GETTING READY FOR WINTER By: Kevin Williams, Grundy County Conservation Director

October 25, 2018
Reinbeck Courier
I got to thinking about winter the other day. Which is sad because we went from this terrible wet weather stretch (I call it terrible but it did replenish the groundwater). Anyway, we went from that into fall. I didn’t get a gradual conversion from summer to autumn. Now I am just complaining which is not what I intended when I started writing this. Thankfully, farmers have hit the harvest hard and seem to be making progress. I was thinking about all the things that I still needed to be doing around the yard before winter. And all the things that should be sorted in the garage before winter. Sorting the garage before winter is an annual chore for me and this winter we are back to two cars that need to get in there. Of course, I was also thinking about the treestand and how I would soon be sitting there. I needed to get started! I guess what started me thinking that way was the fact that there were all sorts of animals around me getting ready for winter. The Fox Squirrels were about as active as they could be the other afternoon. Nut gathering and stashing is occupying a large part of their time. And then it always happens that one interrupts another with the need to chase its friend around the tree, up the tree, into another tree, and then back down to the ground. It reminds me of “play” breaks that I need when I’m doing those getting ready for winter chores, too. And the hawks were flying overhead. Each one making large circles in the sky. Each circle slowly taking them a little farther south on their migration route. Yet seemingly in no real hurry to get that job done. But should the weather have taken a nasty turn, the trip could quickly become a scramble to beat it south as soon as possible. Like my last minute winter jobs could turn to a scramble (and certainly have in past years). This past weekend, there were a number of campers at the Grundy Lake and Wolf Creek campgrounds. They braved the high winds of Saturday. I suppose they needed one more trip before readying the rigs for winter. Maybe some even planning a trip or two into November. Here’s to a long and very enjoyable November! And then I was truly surprised to hear a frog start singing out a chorus over in the pond! It reminded me that frogs and snakes aren’t quite ready to “give it up” and bury into the mud or slither into their burrow for the winter either. I know that I am not ready to say goodbye to fall yet. Maybe that’s why I have put off those last few “get ready for winter jobs”, too.



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