Now where are those sunglasses? Those colours are blinding!

Where did September go? Suddenly we went from green to red and gold and yellows spattered about the forest. The mushrooms have mostly slunk back into the ground after a light frost early one morning grazed the grass tips. We have been busy in the basement layering rockwool boards against the cement and block walls. Stuffing batting into the rim joists and generally trying to make the house as airtight, draft less and warm as possible!

Why does Fall always seem to take me by surprise? In a normal year we’d be plotting our course South to Baja, wondering when the first snowflakes would fly, but today…we get the opportunity to sit and watch the season change to a golden hue. No thoughts of travel, or routes, State or Provincial parks or campgrounds. It has been nice in a way, not having that mad scramble South, ha! Ask me in February how I feel;)

Moving into a solid house that doesn’t have 4 wheels and wiggles when you walk has been a lovely change. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be itching to explore come Spring but having a place, to unpack all your childhood memories, photo books, treasures from a life lived all over has been very rewarding. Having a washing machine, and OMG, a dryer, hah, either I’ve turned simple or the ability to have these luxuries doesn’t escape me. They are luxuries many people simply take for granted. Having this amazing thing called a well and running water, clean running water, drinkable running water. Putting up the insulation I must have hit the power switch for the well in the basement on the beam above and that moment of terror when I turned on the faucet and nothing came out of the tap…weird, for a moment a second of panic before trying to rationalize why there was no water. Yet I have a billion gallons I’m sure in the lake in front of us! After living off grid, and being responsible for our own power, food at times and water brings a different set of priorities to your life that don’t change I think. As troubled times stretch across our world, and we watch families lose everything in a fire, or flood, or lose their loved ones to the virus rapidly moving across this earth it is necessary to take the time to savour every little thing. Smell, movement, bugs, the flash of a coloured feather on a new bird, the wonder of the sun rising through smoke that has traveled thousands of miles, and a moon that lights the lake, this beauty needs to be celebrated in a time of such ugliness and uncomfortable battles being fought between humans…

Smoke from the West coast fires drifts over Ontario

I don’t watch a lot of news, I take pictures, I explore, I try to focus on the goodness in our lives, the people, animals, and living things surrounding us. For everything else there is wine;) Ha! So much is out of our control, so much isn’t, we need to remember that and do what we can, perhaps not worry about what we can’t…maybe we should adopt another kitten:) Ha! Can barely keep up to the three wild cats!

We can hear the geese as they start to fly South. A few have landed in the bay, what great webbed feet they have to brake their splash landing! An occasional cry of a Loon breaks the quiet lake, and even the Whip-poor-wills have started South. The Barred owls call from here, to others across the lake. I’ll see one eventually! A Bald Eagle has been doing flybys, occasionally swooping and splashing down for a fish. We’ll have the company of the Woodpeckers, small and large and in between, the Bluejays and Finches, and hopefully others will show up at the feeders! Our baby racoons come to clean up the seeds but have turned quite nocturnal now, not venturing out in the light.

The colours I have been told this year are exceptionally bright. Temperatures, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor “anthocyanin” formation producing bright reds in maples. Autumn leaves turn fiery-red in an attempt to store up as much goodness as possible from leaves and soil before the winter. The poorer the quality of soil, the more effort a tree will put in to recovering nutrients from its leaves, and the redder they get. Isn’t mother nature astounding!

Are we at the peak? of colours, I’m not sure, many leaves have fallen in the last few days with rain and wind, a few, still green, are hanging on. It is early this year, but then, maybe Spring will come earlier as well;) ha! That will be wishful thinking in April:) For now, I simply am enjoying the progress into Fall. Cooler nights, not many bugs, lots of frogs! Beautiful green frogs! One jumped onto my hand as I was coiling the hose to put away. The gray treefrog can have green, brown or grey skin with large darker blotches on the back. We have a gray one around the corner by the BBQ:) They overwinter under leaf litter and snow cover. They are freeze tolerant, that is, they freeze solid over the winter and appear completely lifeless, but when they thaw out in spring they become active once again. Wow!!! That is pretty cool! Cryogenic frogs!

Fall means we are also at the last of the outdoor markets. In Crosby on Saturdays, last chance until Thanksgiving to get delicious potatoes, tomatoes and honey and those candles! Too pretty to burn! Support a local farmer!

I’m back off to outside now, the sun has come out, some experimenting with long exposures is needed and wow, that is just too pretty not to go take pictures of! Saludos amigos, stay safe, be kind, if not drink wine;) Actually, just go ahead and drink wine, kind or not! Ha! Support your local winery!

Where ARE my sunglasses! That is bright! Long Lake

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