"It's Been an Unusual Fall"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall changes this year were very unusual. Parts of the Thumb had trees shedding early with no color. Many maple tree leaves went from green to brown overnight then fell and left the trees bare. The leaves had large black spots in the middle of each leaf. Some experts declared the early shedding and black spots were the results of the drought. Others speculated the phenomenon was caused by a fungus or reaction to a foreign disease brought ashore from one of the ships traversing the lakes. Yet another opinion was the event was a sign of an early, severe winter ahead.

The only certainty regarding the falling leaves is — they make a mess. Some folks raked daily, others (me included) waited till they all came down. Those daily rakers made room for the leaves from those who didn’t rake to fill their yards. Of course, the big storm a few weeks ago really redistributed all the leaves.

Blaming the drought is becoming an excuse for everything lately related to odd happenings in nature; from trees to water, even animals. Some of the deer herds seem extremely dark coated while others are still very light. Perhaps because of the poor apple crop the animals have changed their eating habits. I’ve seen deer in the open fields where sugar beets have been harvested rooting around trying to dig up any that were missed. Mother Nature always seems to provide for her wildlife.

Drought effects on the water are alarming as I, and many other news media sources, have reported. Lake levels are extremely low. I’m happy to observe the lake levels seemed to reach their lowest point and may be rising just a little. The effects of the massive storm, with wave heights over 20 feet on Lake Huron, had no effect on lake levels.

The fish don’t seem to mind the low water levels. Fall shiner runs in creeks and rivers came on time and the fall run of small perch seemed about the same as in the past. Are the turkeys a lot larger this year? Seems like it.

Speaking of turkey — Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thank goodness the candy bellyaches from Halloween have all but disappeared. I’m looking forward to fresh pumpkin pie. As I see it, isn’t it the best way to end a great turkey dinner? With the first snow arrival and the feast not far off, we need to remember Christmas is approaching. It’s not hard to do this because no matter what kind of store you visit, you are greeted by the seasonal music. Signs announce the number of shopping days left and notes are received from credit card companies saying you can borrow interest free and your payment won’t increase.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with loved ones. I’ll enjoy mine in the southland; but I’ll be sure to tune in to watch the snow on the weather channel.




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