For the most part, the Twin Cities hasn’t had snow this 2023–24 winter season. I can’t remember any winter quite like it. Though I enjoyed the warmer days and better driving conditions, I was pleased to see bright snow outside my window when I got up this morning.
I took these seven photos today from 10:17 to 10:35 a.m. The National Weather Service’s forecast office for the Twin Cities is located next to my neighborhood in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Tonight, I visited the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota, to see their Winter Lights walking tour that goes through the end of the month. I’ve never been to the Arboretum in the winter, much less seen their Winter Lights display (though I’m not sure if they’ve had it in previous years).
I took a bus in Chaska to get there, because the Arboretum was sold out of tickets for parking on-site. A SouthWest Transit employee at the park-and-ride facility in Chaska told me there would be 4,000 attendees tonight—with 3,000 people parking at the Arboretum and 1,000 people taking the bus.
As these photos illustrate, there is no snow on the ground. Furthermore, I recall only two days this fall and winter season when there was any measurable snow on the ground, and they were on October 30 and 31. Needless to say, there won’t be a white Christmas this year. In fact, the two main reasons I went to this event tonight was that it was warm (the high temperature in Chanhassen today was 47 degrees Fahrenheit) and that I wanted to document the brown Christmas, which happens much less frequently than a white Christmas in the Twin Cities. The high temperature for tomorrow (Christmas Eve) is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beginning today, we are having an Indian summer in the Twin Cities.
My definition of Indian summer is simple. It is after the first hard frost when it is unseasonably warm and dry. The next four days will be Indian summer as well, with high temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit on all of these days.
I decided to photograph this year’s Indian summer today, as I don’t believe it happens every year. I took these photos at Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota, from 4:02 to 4:09 p.m.
Today, my mom, my puggle (Missy), and I visited Fort Snelling State Park for the first time (though my mom did once visit the cemetery for a funeral). Because Fort Snelling is spread out over such a wide area and is so integral to Minnesota’s history, the photos below actually comprise three cities and three counties. The first location, Big Rivers Regional Trail, isn’t even part of Fort Snelling, though the trails do connect to it.
I regret the premise of my last article from October 11 titled, “The Last Nice Autumn Day at the Arb?” Minnesota’s leaves are keeping their color longer this year, so I now say the best day for fall colors is yet to come. In the picture to the right, one can see that much of the Twin Cities–including where I live in Chanhassen–is still at near-peak.
I encourage everyone to utilize the Fall Color Finder from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In years past, I’ve visited some of the state parks, which are denoted by circles on the map. I’m not sure if I will visit any state parks this year, but I certainly would be up to it if my mom is interested in another excursion in the woods with frequent stops.
I took these six photos today from 10:33 to 11:22 a.m. at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota.