Winter Is Coming!

A man hiking along a board walk through a forest with fall colors.
The overlook trail at Eagle Bluffs conservation area has beautiful fall foliage and the bare trees in the winter offer views you can’t get in the summer.

The daily temperatures have finally dropped and the leaves are turning and falling. Whether  you love it (that’s me) or hate it, fall is here and winter is on it’s way.

Here are some ideas to help you make the best of winter (and fall).

A note about fall. I love fall — who doesn’t?! But in Missouri, it just can’t be relied upon. Once we reach the autumn months, any given day could be muggy summer weather, golden fall conditions, sleet or worse. The leaves could barely start turning and then blow off overnight in one big storm. Regardless, most people don’t need help enjoying a beautiful fall day. You’ll know it when it happens and won’t be able to stop from enjoying it.

Back to winter…

Let’s start with food. You’ll need some hearty meals to stay warm. I’ve put together a list of cookbooks to get you inspired.

If winter has you down because there isn’t much to do in the garden, you could:

cover for the Winter Harvest Handbook

I think winter is a great time to explore Missouri. Not everyone prefers the cold the way I do, but can’t we all appreciate fewer ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes that come with colder weather? Look for trails with views that might be better viewed through leafless trees. For example, the overlook trail at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area is a great place to see fall foliage, but the bare winter trees also offer unobstructed views of the ponds below. The overlook trail can be accessed from South Old Plank Road or from the Katy Trail.Book cover for Winter World by Bernd Heinrich.

If you’re apprehensive about venturing out in winter, learn how to stay warm outside and survive other challenges with the ebook, “Winter in the Wild.” To enrich your outside experience download “Field Guide to Tracking Animals in Snow,” or pick up “A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter,”  or Bernd Heinrich’s, “Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival.”

The short days and long winter nights are great for new indoor projects.

If you still aren’t on board with winter, embrace the darkness by delving into Nordic Noir. This genre from Scandinavian authors (Norway, Sweden, Iceland, etc.) features dark mysteries, usually police procedurals, that generally center on brutal crimes and have a fatalistic or cynical tone. Here’s a list of recommended Nordic Noir to get you started.

collage of book covers


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