Do not be fooled by this Indian summer. Winter is coming.

It already creeped in on some of the prettiest parts of fall.

And now that the golden leaves have dropped, we have entered the season of brown. The sepia slopes and amber haymeadows are strangely luminescent. They’re beautiful, even if it feels a bit dusky and sedate for my liking. Perhaps this is Mother Nature’s trick to make sure we’re hungry for the infinitely appealing pop of bluebird sky against white peaks that will arrive soon. It’s a vision that makes even cold-fearing wimps like me salivate for winter.

Remember? Winter is pretty.

The wildlife that lurks around my cabin on these sunny warm days reminds me that snow is inevitable. Lots of it. I should start prepping, because the foxes are prepping — and nature always knows best.

Witness the bright white pom that exploded at the end of the foxes’ tails this week. Just like the aspens, their orange hue is fading away. Winter white is encroaching.

The foxy tip of winter

This little guy and his sibling have made the aspen forest surrounding my home a playground for the past couple months. Pure comedy. We’ve spotted them frolicking at the bonfire pit, playing with dog toys and sitting on our porch. And they’ve left quite a few hearty piles of purple poo on the steps, too. Apparently, they’re  devouring the shriveled sarvis berries that summer’s voracious birds left littering the ground.

The white-tipped tails are one sure sign of impending winter. I always marvel at how fast things change this time of year.

Now, we’re indulging like we do in that final week of ski season, when you feel the need to cram in one more top-to-bottom run, one last lap on Heavenly Daze. The end of a glorious summer-into-fall means playing hooky for one last sunny hike in shorts, an outdoor lunch and driving with the sunroof open. Bike the mountain. Ride the mountain coaster. Belly up at the Mountain Tap picnic tables for a local brew.

Frostiness, coming soon…

Do it fast. Winter is coming.


Jennie Lay, summer lover

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