Our volunteer stewardship season has come to a close, but there are still so many ways to connect with nature around North Pond and in greater Lincoln Park. We have been treated to gorgeous fall color this year on scales large and small- from the early season bloom of our grasses to explosions of asters to spectacular displays of foliage and fruit. Don’t let the holiday creep supersede your appreciation of what may be the most beautiful season in Chicago.
The first freeze came for many tender plants in the area, rendering them blackened and distorted, perfectly timed on the eve of Halloween. Even the warmest pockets in the region will see a killing frost soon, meaning farewell to most of our flowers for the year—Enjoy the final blooms! It’s time to savor the remaining foliage. Though much-needed rains and a bit of Halloween snow have hastened leaf-drop, there’s still a little time to catch the end of the fall show before winter is truly here.
You don’t have to go far to get a fall fix. The park’s natural areas are burgeoning with autumnal activity. Here are just a few ideas to fit into your urban hikes:
- Pause beneath the glowing canopy of a honey locust, a sunburst of deep orange and yellow, while the breeze sends little leaflets twirling all around you.
- Enjoy the satisfying crunch of crisp autumn leaves along the walking trails.
- Listen to the stream-like sounds of shimmering silver maple leaves slowly senescing overhead, like a waterfall from the trees.
- Watch for late season migrating birds, now more easily visible with many branches already bare.
- Look carefully at the logs around North Pond and see how many turtles you can find basking on a sunny afternoon.
- Find inspiration in tireless native bumblebees taking advantage of any remaining warmth and forage.