Category Archives: Fall Foliage

Early autumn walkabout

Have you noticed? The autumn colours are peeking through, perhaps due to the extremely dry conditions, but also the season. I love to walk in the early autumn. The days are warm and the nights are cool enough to open the bedroom windows and turn off the air conditioning at last. The sun still has the strength to warm the soul.

The last of the hot air balloons flew through the other morning. Like birds migrating south, they are leaving the area seeking warmer locations for the winter season.

Every tree has at least a few leaves that are turning the brilliant colours we associate with autumn. It’s just the beginning.

Even the cheery Black-Eyed Susans have passed their peak and are beginning to wilt.

The last white rose on the bush is clinging on, making passers-by smile; a reminder that they’ll be back in profusion next spring.

As flower wilt and shrivel up bees hover near sucking up whatever nectar they can find to sustain them through the coming cold months. But for now, early autumn is a very pleasant time.

The remaining choke cherries are beginning to shrivel but they still make a tasty snack for birds fattening up for the migration south, or in preparation for sitting out the winter with the rest of us.

Wee blossoms in the ditch are fading, but still golden in the sunlight.

And high in a tree, the crab  apples are ready for raccoons and deer to snack upon.

Yes, early autumn IS the perfect time for a walkabout. The mugginess of summer has abated and the air is becoming crisp and clear. We are fortunate here in eastern Canada to enjoy four distinct seasons and the coming fall is, without doubt, my favourite.

For most people, January 1st signals the start of a new year. But for me it’s fall. Perhaps it’s because a new school year begins in September. Or perhaps it’s just because it’s invigorating after the sultry days of summer.


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Everyone has his or her own way of coping with loss or drastic change. For me it means grabbing a camera, putting a leash on the dog, and going for a walk on a country road just to stretch and breathe slowly, letting the stress out with each deep breath.

Last vestiges of fall foliage

Last vestiges of fall foliage

Sometimes if you take the time to peek into the ditches you’ll find remnants of the amazing fall foliage colours the Maritimes are famous for – and it will make you smile in spite of yourself.

Not letting go

Not letting go

And at the edge of the road a loan leaf clings to the naked branch of a bush, its comrades blown away by the last strong wind.

After two weeks of travelling in to the hospital to sit with my mother, brothers and sisters while her life ebbed away, and another week of frantic activity after the not-unexpected 6:a.m. call, the hubbub has slowed and the exhaustion has set in. When you are sad it is hard to get motivated to bundle up against the cold and go outside, but Mother Nature offers solace, encouragement and the rejuvenation needed to keep coping and moving on.


Supermoon (Beaver moon) Rising

Supermoon (Beaver moon) Rising

Last night I had intended to go out and set up my gear to capture the rising of the Supermoon over the local hills. One of the side effects of grief and attempting to cope is the inability to remember things properly and motivate yourself in a timely way. Instead of preparing, I sat down and ate dinner with my husband, only realizing after the fact that I’d missed that moment of the moon appearing over the crest of the hill. The best I could manage was a quick snap of it rising rapidly through the naked tree branches across the road.

Supermoon setting

Supermoon setting

My alternate plan, since I’m an early riser anyway, was to get out this morning and capture the giant orb setting over the Town of Sussex to the west of us. Mother Nature played a cruel joke on my plan and hid most of the moon behind cloud cover, showing just enough to taunt me!

Look closely and you'll see the lights of Sussex at the bottom of the photo.

Look closely and you’ll see the lights of Sussex at the bottom of the photo.

Everyone has different coping strategies. For me it will be more walks with Harley and perhaps a camera over my shoulder too. It’s been a long several months and no matter how prepared for someone’s death you think you are, you aren’t. A death brings out the best in some people, and the worst in others. Hopefully those who cope by striking out against others will find their way back to those who support each other in coping with the loss of the linchpin that held it all together.

Also posted in appreciation, Autumn, BLOG, caring, death, emotions, family, New Brunswick, photography, rural living lifestyle, seasons, writing Tagged , , |

Autumn in New Brunswick

backlit-red-leaf-web-copyAutumn in #NewBrunswick means cool, crisp and clear days, cold nights and, most importantly, brilliant fall foliage! The peak time for the most colourful display is usually in about two weeks – around our Thanksgiving or mid-October. However, this year there’s a strong hurricane threatening the entire eastern seaboard from Miami through our area and beyond. So, I decided I should gather as many seasonal images as possible today – and if there are more to be had later, I can always add to the collection. We’ve had an unnervingly dry summer so the leaves are literally hanging by a thread, dehydrated and ready to fall with the smallest breeze, never mind hurricane force winds.

apples-web-copyAutumn also means apples. These very small, sour crab apples grow on my neighbour’s tree. They’d probably make good jelly but, as older folk are prone to say, they don’t make “good eatin'”. Other varieties grown in orchards throughout the area are much tastier for snacks, pies or sweet treats!

abandoned-house-knightville-web-copyIn the countryside around #Sussex the colours of autumn are just beginning to emerge. They provide a wonderful backdrop for many scenes, even this old, derelict farm house collapsing in upon itself.

beaver-lodge-web-copyThe industrious beaver family in the pond behind our house have been fortifying their dam in an effort to raise the dwindling water level that will provide their winter habitat and protection. Normally all that greenery behind them would be under water at this time of year – a testament to the long, dry months of summer.

deer-across-field-1-red-tree-web-copyMeanwhile, in the field across the road from our house, one lone red maple stands like a sentinel above a couple of grazing deer.

far-side-of-highway-web-copyIn the adjacent field the trees on the far side of the #1 Highway are just beginning to show off their autumn colours.

seed-head-web-copyHay scraps on the edges of the fields have gone to seed.

timothy-web-copySome stand out against the detritus of a season past its glory.


Still, the view from our deck can be enjoyed as we keep track of the developing autumn colours on the far hills. Meanwhile, summer’s warmth is laid to rest  for another year under a canopy of colour.





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October denouement

red leaves-web-copy1

It’s the first of October, the denouement of autumn into that other season that we shall not name. Leaves on deciduous trees have been changing colour for the last few weeks and will probably peak in the next week or so.

The day began with the thunder of shotguns on this first day of bird hunting season. Ducks and geese fled overhead, quacking and honking in fear for their lives. But, as the sun rose, the hunters took respite until tonight when they’ll try again to nail those hapless birds. Truthfully I have no problem with hunting if it’s to put food on the table. I just fail to understand killing anything as sport. But that’s for another post someday.


The sedum have flowered and changed colours from pale pink to a deep rose shade. Left untrimmed in winter their determined seed heads will be seen above the snow and those birds who spend the season here, as opposed to heading south, will feast upon them.


Meanwhile, the hayfields have been cut for the second time and most of the bales taken away to feed the herds of cattle over the coming winter months. A few ignored or forgotten ones remain as distant trees mark the changing of the seasons. Summer is truly over.


And the remnants of the black-eyed Susans punctuate the changes in the gardens – hanging on as long as they can until cold winds rip their shrivelled petals away from the seed heads. Like the sedum, those small black seed heads will remain until spring providing sustenance to the over-wintering birds and those returning early from their southern vacations.

October is the month of drastic change, beginning with clear and bright days with cool nights and ending by heralding the dark, damp and cold that is November. Luckily it is also the month that gives us the most brilliant of colours before the total denouement of the season.

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The hills are alive – with colour!


This is the week-end for fall foliage. Drive down any country road and around every corner you will see patchwork vistas of deep reds, brilliant oranges and glowing golds.


We’re lucky in the eastern half of Canada. Wherever there are stands of hardwoods, or at least mixed forests, there is colour – and this year, lots of it!

This morning I left the house before dawn to catch a rocky hillside in the light of the rising sun – and I wasn’t disappointed.


As the sun rose over the hill behind me it lit the trees along the rock wall adjacent to the highway.


And highlighted the iron ore so prevalent in our area._L2H4274roadside-web

Every rock appeared rusty in that early light._L2H4276roadside-webAnd every bush and shrub was lit as well. Some days it’s really worthwhile to get up and out before the rest of the world has bothered.


And sometimes there’s a wee surprise hidden in the rocks in the middle of a field on a sunny and warm autumn day. I hope you enjoyed today as much as I have.


Also posted in Autumn, BLOG, Canada, New Brunswick, photography, seasons

Autumn in the country

Autumn in the country around Sussex, NB, means brilliant fall foliage colours, harvesting, and, for some intrepid farmers, the annual provincial ploughing competition. This year it was held in the field up the road from our home.

_L2H4253 - Version 2ploughing-web

Mother nature cooperated by providing a brilliant and sunny day for the event and a colourful backdrop for spectators. The object of the game is for the ploughmen/women to drive their tractors and create furrows of a specific length, width and depth on a consistent basis. If you’ve never driven a tractor you can’t really appreciate just what a challenge it is!

_L2H4247 - Version 2ploughing-web

This gentleman came prepared, complete with a sunshade on a hot afternoon.

_L2H4250 - Version 2ploughing-web

Ploughing is not a gender-specific endeavour on most farms, as this young lady aptly demonstrated.

_L2H4252 - Version 2ploughing-web

Nor does the size or brand of the tractor matter. It’s all about the driver’s skill.


With each pass the judges step in and measure the result and any deviation can mean the difference between becoming champion – or not.

Although it’s a serious undertaking, it’s also done in good spirit and a skilled ploughman/woman is a joy to watch.

Of course, here in Kings County we always have the juxtaposition of generations-old rural traditions against industrial development.

The tips of the stacks from the nearby potash mines dot the backdrop.

The tips of the stacks from the nearby potash mines dot the backdrop.

Whatever your interest, autumn in the country is both pleasant and colourful. Get out and enjoy it while you can. Sadly, autumn heralds the arrival of that other not-to-be-named season.

_L2H4236 - Version 2ploughing-web

_L2H4239 - Version 2ploughing-web

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Autumn Mornings

Some mornings, especially autumn mornings, are just too beautiful to miss. I had to grab my gear and hit the road earlier this morning in search of any remaining autumn foliage in our area. As I headed toward Mt. Hebron I found a little that was left.

The hills are alive - with some colour

The hills are alive – with some colour

Looking back toward Sussex from high on a hill with the sun hitting the trees, it was possible to get a little more colour. I was away in Brazil when the colours peaked for this year; but I still captured some to bring a smile to my eye (and yours?).


_L2H0925 - Version 2

And, in my friend’s pasture, some whitetailed deer grazing. When hunting season starts next week I hope they’ll be a bit more wary!


Autumn mornings really are my favourite!

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Almost Autumn

Autumn coming _L2H6712 - Version 2

It’s almost autumn. The calendar says it’s still summer (technically speaking) for another week but Mother Nature has other thoughts on that subject. Two nights ago there was a nasty frost and 0C temperatures. Last night the moon was nearly full and it was cold. The heat is on in the house and people are contemplating switching over to flannel sheets on their beds – sooner rather than later. Brrr.

Those who have livestock can already see the thick winter haircoats developing. And bees are stocking up for the coming cold.

bees stocking up before winter

bees stocking up before winter

Autumn is a bittersweet season. Here in New Brunswick the fall foliage is often spectacular – brilliant reds, oranges and golds as the hardwood trees’ leaves change colour before falling to the ground in a crazy patchwork quilt. But those colours and the crisp cool mornings herald the impending arrival of another, less delightful, season.

Hardy flowers showing off in the dying days of summer

Hardy flowers showing off in the dying days of summer

I’m lucky, though. One week from today I’ll be heading to Brazil to participate in the photographic ride of a lifetime – a two week workshop with Italy’s Paula Da Silva called Brazil on Focus. So for me summer will return for two more weeks and I fully intend to revel in the warmth as long as possible.

Stay tuned for postings from Brazil as time and WIFI availability allows. With a group of photographers from around the world I’ll be exploring the culture of the people in the State of Bahia, the horses unique to the country (Mangalarga Marchador and Campolina) and other breeds you’d be familiar with like (believe it or not?) Appaloosas and Quarter Horses. We’ll be visiting breeding farms and exploring the unique desert landscape in north eastern Brazil.

So – check back for updates and, in the meantime, enjoy Mother Nature’s artistic seasonal display!

The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

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A Day in the Country

Sometimes you just need a break, especially from technology, and taking a day in the country is a great way to spend your “mental health” day.

Yesterday was Open Farm Day in New Brunswick (and elsewhere) so  my friend, Gina, and I headed up to the Cornhill Nursery to see what there was to see.

Gina focusing on a bee

Gina focusing on a bee


A nursery is a great place to be a bee!

A nursery is a great place to be a bee!

We spent a delightful couple of hours roaming the paths and checking out the incredible plants.


The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

Even the spider webs were stunning!

Even the spider webs were stunning!

The orange leaves were just beginning to turn.

The orange leaves were just beginning to turn.

And the flowers were holding their own too for colour.

And the flowers were holding their own too for colour.

Sweet lavender scented the walk.

Sweet lavender scented the walk.

The view from the top of the hill.

The view from the top of the hill.

Rose's last glory.

Rose’s last glory.

Feathers of ornamental grasses blowing in the autumn breeze

Feathers of ornamental grasses blowing in the autumn breeze

Gina going to extremes to get her shot!

Gina going to extremes to get her shot!

And what location would be complete without the appropriate host?

Our host!

Our host!

It was time well spent on a Sunny Sunday afternoon in fall with good company and ending up at Gina’s hobby farm grooming four horses, playing with the dogs and cat and enjoying a great spaghetti supper with a friend. What more could one ask for? Simple pleasures!










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From the inside looking out

From the inside

Sometimes we all really need to take a step back, inhale a really deep breath, and take a fresh look at our own piece of the world. That’s what I, and some friends, did on Sunday. We all live in the Sussex area and, as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt – or if not contempt, complacency. We take what is all around us for granted looking to foreign and exotic places for beauty when, in fact, we are surrounded by it!

We met up with members of the Focus Camera Club from Moncton early Sunday morning and spent a wonderful day exploring the area in and around Sussex. Our visitors were delighted with the numerous and beautiful old covered bridges, the remaining fall foliage and the amazing light that filtered through the fog helping everyone to capture beautiful images. Thanks to the heavy rain on Saturday, our trek out to the Waterford Waterworks yielded some lovely pictures of rushing water cascading down both water courses to meet up under the bridge. Several hardy souls ventured down the washed out and trecherous path to the waters edge to get even more dramatic shots.

Next time it will be our turn to let them show us the best there is to see near Moncton one day in the not-too-distant future.

Waterford Waterworks

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