Late Fall In Harper Park

Location: Harper Park
Date: November 9th 2017
Weather: Impending flurries, generally dreary
Notes: Should have packed a snack. Wool socks are the best.

Its cold and it’s getting dark. Daylight savings has just passed and dusk is arriving by 4:30. The first snow of the season in the forecast and flurries can be seen on the radar to the west. I quickly make my way into the park after leaving my vehicle on the side of the road. The public works folks have been testy with me lately about leaving my car on the side of the road, but its a public park and a public space, so they are more than welcome to leave me alone.

After passing the first thicket of White Cedars, a Roughed Grouse startles me as it flutters out of the bushes next to the path. I’ve come across hundreds of Grouse in my life, but even still they always seem to elicit a shock from me. At this point in the day the casino construction is in full swing, its quite noisy to say the least. Further along the path the wasp nest I’ve been avoiding all summer lays dormant, no longer a threat.


Through the meadow Chickadees dart by in groups overhead. Not much in the way of bird life today, I suppose the impending weather has scared them away. I decide that the next place to visit should be the wetland. This is an excellent time of year to be looking at certain species of wetland life, the remnants of rare plants can often be found after the overgrowth has died back for the season.

The branches I’m standing on crack beneath me and my foot plunges into the frigid water. The icy spring water flows into my boot and my feet sting from the cold. Its time to go back to shore. It is officially wool sock season.

Continuing along the cedar thicket, the trees rattle in the wind overhead. It is as if I am passing underneath an ancient trestle. As I Leave the park, the floor of the forest reveals the garbage heap from the old homestead. A kettle sitting out under the trees appears to be waiting for someone to make their next pot of tea.


Its nearly dark. One of the Mayor’s Taxis whiz by as I depart the park. I expect the next time I visit there will be snow on the ground. Even at this time of the year, when all is so quiet the park is buzzing just below the surface.

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The Bird List From This Visit:

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