Michigan’s colors this fall rate a C-minus at best.

Actually, a C-minus isn’t all that bad, just a little more than I managed in my college days. But our fall colors generally are in the four-oh class and this year we didn’t make it. Maybe it was the warm fall. Maybe it’s a weather irregularity, you know, like when the weatherman says “the El Nino has a contrast effect on the high pressure areas, causing more snow in metropolitan Halifax.”

A recent trip north found some brilliant colors, but a lot of the trees had shed their leaves early, others still were green. The popples normally are festooned with gold dollars, but most are on the ground.

Another serious problem for rugged outdoorsmen gets worse as the fall goes on. I’m talking football here. Not that any of us play it, or even go to the games. But on a cold weekend in November, with sleet and snow covering the ground, even really tough hunters have a tendency to stay in bed and watch football games from the couch.

Somehow they convince themselves that that is much more comfortable than getting up in a cold cabin at 5:30 a.m., eating crisp eggs and soggy bacon and drinking bitter coffee. Then going out to shiver in a leaky blind.

It’s hard to believe, but things get worse as championship games collide with the late seasons and colder weather.

Some of the less rugged outdoorsmen will get up, singe the eggs, burn the bacon and over boil the coffee. After everyone else has left, he goes back to bed for a nap. Planning the evening meal requires lots of energy.