We finally registered a hard frost in the town of Casper, Wyoming. Now, the folks out on the prairie got their killing frost way back in September- much more the norm for central Wyoming. Our average first frost date is somewhere around the end of August to the first week in September, so you can appreciate our appreciation for the warmer than usual September and October of 2010- fourth warmest in decades to be exact.
For our fairly simple assemblage of deciduous tree species- dominated by the Salix (willow) family- we had some pretty good fall color. Nothing like the hardwood forests of the eastern U.S., but pretty showy for us Wyomingites. The Barberry bushes actually accomplished their brilliant maroon, and this is the first time I can remember the Spirea turning a beautiful burnished bronze.
With our first dusting of snow on the ground, I think we have to say goodbye to autumn in Wyoming. Hello winter.