Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall Is Arriving

October 10th, 2010

Little girl in knitted autumn suit surrounded by the brilliant coloured leaves of fall. She appears to be catching a sunbeam.
©V. Hickey
(used with permission)
We’re moving into the cooler weather now…not really cold yet, except overnight where it dips down to minus 1 celsius already, but we’ve had a pretty wet fall.  Most of September was rather wet with much cooler temperatures than we generally see in September.  It was a little disappointing, actually…we look at September as the last blast of summer, but this year it felt much more like the omen of a bad winter to come than the end of summer. Cold nights and warm sunny days help to make the autumn colours, but I often wish for longer summers. Oh, I don't mind cooler nights at all (easier sleeping), but those nights also bring frost, signalling an end to many of the garden plants.

A row of trees along a paved country road, dressed in bright fall colours.
Country road in fall.
We saw temperatures dipping down to almost freezing even at the end of August during the night, making for an early show of autumn colour. Normally the leaves don’t begin to show the change of season until sometime in late September/early October, but 2010 brought the colour change while we were still counting off the last weeks of August.

The brilliant red of fall covers the leaves of a tree at a small pathway.
Glorious reds in Autumn.
I really love the autumn…it’s blaze of colour makes our country surroundings beautiful (I'd even say awesome since it never fails to catch your attention), especially during the early periods of fall when  the grass and some of the trees are still the bright, strident green you see after a rainfall, and the grass is thick and lush. The heavy night dews give the autumn grass and lawn a deep green we don’t see at other times of the year.

Spring grass has a light fresh green colour, and summer grass has a slightly dry and sometimes dull green from the hot days and little rain, but in fall it’s simply that colour we call green – grass green. The bright yellows, reds, oranges and sometimes brown or melon of the leaves contrasting with that lovely green is a jaw-dropping blast of brilliant contrast in our part of the world. I love it.  Crisp days of sunshine, blue sky, and even bluer water.

Early fall colours just beginning to show on trees growing at the edge of a canal.
Pretty view of a canal.
During the summer the water tends to get a little greenish here – that’s a sign of all the activity on our lakes – boaters, swimmers and more boaters, but in the autumn the lakes change to a deep blue. Probably because the waters are cooling a little, and probably partly because the boaters are gone for the season and the algae that gets churned up in the summer settles back down to the bottom.

The colours of autumn reflect of the blue off the stiller waters like they were reflecting off a mirror -  peaceful and gorgeous (gotta catch those shots early in the morning before the breezes come up).

In Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday this weekend.  We sort of look at this as the last official long weekend for things like camping, and summer cottages. Our area has many cottages that are winterized (which means they're kept open year round and do get used for winter activities), but those whose cottages aren’t, close them up over the Thanksgiving weekend and tuck them in for a long winter.

A small painting of a water channel in the Muskokas ablaze with fall colours.
Even a stormy day can be pretty.
The year round cottages will see their owners during the Christmas season, since we have a variety of skiing options here - both downhill at surrounding and cross-country almost anywhere (oh and let us not forget all those avid snowmobilers - we have a lot of groomed trails here).

Boaters winterize their boats and put them into storage, classic car enthusiasts tuck their beauties into garages to keep them out of the winter snows and life slows down again for a little while.

Tourists are mostly gone and we have our town back, stores have Halloween decorations one one side of the aisle and Christmas on the other side (and sometimes the Christmas products show up before the Thanksgiving and Halloween ones - yeah, go figure!), kids are back in school, and the holidays are finished. At least until Christmas (love it too, but I could do without the snow).

Monday is our Thanksgiving (Oct 10 this year, since the actual day changes from year to year), and we’ve spent the weekend working in the gardens getting them ready to survive the long cold winter ahead; we also usually spend time driving about the rural roads trying to record the lovely autumn colors.

A driveway entrance along a country road flanked by trees in fall colours.
Fall can make even a paved road look nice.
Autumn is short here – at least most of the time. You never really know when the colours will be gone. You can get up one day and see a glorious countryside full of colours so brilliant you can’t even describe it, and get up the next morning to trees that have shed through the night.

At this time of year all it takes is a rainy, windy night and it’s over. The colours of fall lay strewn across field and pavement and lake, like so many pieces of confetti.

As is always the case, I’m not looking forward to winter at all. I hate the cold. I hate being cold. I hate the snow ... well I imagine you get it by now.

A local farmer has a wagon full of pumpkins for all those cooks getting ready to make their Thanksgiving pies.
Did anyone mention pumpkin pie?

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