Fall at the lake

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono

The early morning sun hits the trees and creates a golden glow over the changing colours. I call this bathrobe photography;) here I sit in my pyjamas, jacket and plush robe to keep everything warm as frost is in the air and the stillness of the lake is mesmerizing:) Loons calling in the distance…hard to leave.

September started with snapping turtle rescue after we went to take some farewell pictures of the Lee family as they sold their home at the end of the road. Baby snapping turtles were emerging from the gravel and getting lost and stuck so we started to scoop them up and set them loose in the lake! I could swear I still see a head popping up every now and then and wonder if it was one we set loose!

The Tussock Caterpillars are literally falling out of the trees!

“Some of the hairs on this caterpillar have barbs, and can get stuck in your skin. They then break off, leaving small ‘little spears’ in your skin which can cause an allergic reaction. The longer black hairs do contain a venom and when these get stuck in your skin they can inject a chemical. If these hairs break off, excess chemical can also be spread onto the surface of your skin. Both situations can cause an allergic reaction. Is the hickory tussock moth caterpillar poisonous? No, however it is venomous.”

So, best not to touch, at least we keep telling the cats that! A new batch of chipmunks are out and the cats are dashing too and fro on their leashes running after them. We uncovered a beautiful Blue Spotted Salamander under a log in our travels and the resident Orb Weaver Spider that lives in my clothespin bag has been relocated;)

Rocket is growing so quickly! He has taken to his leash well and gallops from place to place with one of us running behind, everything is a toy, every new scent is worth stopping for:)

Bracket fungus and mushrooms are growing out of the paper birch trees, they must have some kind of symbiotic relationship! Fascinating to see. Amanita Muscaria are popping up in the lawn-it is said the vikings took these before raids…making them a bit more berserk than they were already;) speaking from my Swedish lineage;)

The farm stands beside the roads are overflowing now. On the way to see the horses we pass by Miller’s Bay Farm with all their goodies. Fresh potatoes and veggies and every kind of squash and gourd imaginable! On the Scotch Line outside of Perth Vintage Vittles has the best tomatoes we have eaten in a very long time, ripe and juicy, all sizes and colours, something for every recipe imaginable as well as herb and flower beds covered with migrating Monarchs and other butterflies! I got so carried away with the butterflies I forgot to photograph the tomato stand!

The horses are starting to grow their winter coats, never too soon to be woolly! The donkeys are shaggy again as well:) It seems their Summer coats only last a month, they shed out their winter ones, and grow them back! ha! We helped Jennifer at the barn lay gravel and stone dust in all the stalls and alleyways, the cats watched from a distance, too much tractor noise! This is a sad Summer, Simon, the beautiful tabby with the golden belly went missing, we all miss him:(

Mike’s cousin Philip and his wife Christina came to visit from Germany. Their wonderful son is going to school in Toronto and they made the trip up for a few days to stay at the cottage. Lot’s of cooking, a visit to the horses and a trip up for pancakes at Wheelers Maple and a side trip to Ragged Chutes to see the start of the Fall colours was great fun!

The walk in was stunning with the changing colours and leaf strewn paths. This is private property but the family allow foot traffic and not a bit of garbage to be seen, so nice that folks respect that! The bridge looked like it washed away this Spring that crosses the river, sad, as I wanted to photograph the area from the other side. They tolerated my tripod toting and long exposures relaxing beside the river:)

And no frost, yet, here by the lake. The mornings have been a few degrees above freezing, the tomatoes may still ripen;) A short paddle around the Three Sisters Islands on a calm morning showed some beautiful yellows and oranges. Our side is mostly pines so the view to the West has been a treat! Those oranges and reds!

Every walk is a burst of colour. The cats are chasing the leaves as they tumble down, in another week, most will be bare I think. A few days of rain have left everything smelling like the earth-decay-but not a bad smell, just the forest replenishing itself. The birdsong has died down, the hummingbirds are long gone and only the Winter regulars are showing their faces.

The last campfires with friends and neighbours, and views out the screened in porch. The plexiglass is on now, much to the cats chagrin, it was better with just the screen they say to watch the chipmunks and birds at the feeder…and those sunsets….

I don’t think I will ever tire of those colours:)

As the temperatures shift, out come the socks and toques, gloves and sweaters. Some days are downright chilly, others are warm beyond belief, it is the time of change. A last long hack out on the snowmobile paths left the horses sweating after a few short burst of trots and canters, Maya is feeling good, she is in wonderful shape, looking and feeling lively! Get out that lunge line! Dusty is happy to be left to eat!

I can hear the weather clock ticking…we want to go before the snow flies and also before the campsites start to close. Many close Oct 15 as we head South, some by the end of the month, we are taking it one day at a time, still things to do before we leave for the year. Friends still to visit, one last trip to the horses bearing carrots and boxes of sugar cubes…so easy to put off leaving…especially when you get a lovely afternoon like this….just makes it that much more difficult to say goodbye…

Stay tuned amigos…there maybe a few more lake shots before we go! Ha!

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