Prairie Autumn

Lincoln -- The trees and grasses on my home prairie, in the Oak Creek valley northwest of Lincoln, have never been more colorful. Warm September days followed by cool October nights (but with no hard freezes) have made each day more spectacular than the day before.

Bees in the hives are still active; deer and wild turkeys are plentiful; quail uprisings startle hikers on the trails.

A coyote who lives in the riparian wetlands looks fat and happy. A trail camera catches skunks, racoons, and opossums making nightly courses through their grass highways. A fox checks out what's happening around the barn.

A great horned owl hoots before midnight and again at dawn. Old growth cottonwoods, bright yellow against deep blue skies, preside over the season.