“Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit.”
– George Elliot, 1841 (Life as related in her letters and journals, edited by J. W. Cross, 1885)

These photos are from walks up various cliffs and hills yesterday, taking in the autumn landscape on the Canadian Shield. In the distance, I saw a hawk soaring by, a raven perched atop a pine and a small float plane that I think was probably taking folks on a tour to see the fall colours. I was content to see the sights with my feet on the ground.

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40 Responses to “Heartland”
  1. Just beautiful. You are further ahead than we are. Thank you. A lovely treat.

  2. Sheryl Millar says:

    Gorgeous shots – the colors are spectacular. What a perfect way to spend the weekend

  3. Awesome variety of colors!

  4. Dounia says:

    Wow, the colors are really spectacular. Autumn really is such a beautiful season. Here it’s just starting – the leaves are changing colors more every day, but they’re not yet as gorgeous as in your photos! Thanks for sharing these amazing shots!

  5. montucky says:

    What a gorgeous display of color! Just beautiful!

  6. skadhu says:

    Gorgeous photos! And I’m jealous—we just don’t get colours like this on the wet coast.

  7. sybil says:

    I like skadhu’s “wet coast” reference. What joke can I make about the East Coast. We’re not as mild as the west coast but we don’t get the sudden, heavy frosts that cause the wonderful Ontario colours. Your photos are just lovely. Autumn slides in slowly here. Trees change but not in such a striking fashion and then the leaves will be gone. Each area has its own unique beauty. Ontario OWNS the fall …

    • Thanks a lot, sybil. I’m envious of you and skadhu out on the coasts… but that’s true, each area has its own beauty and fall here really is spectacular. I’ve seen some great colours traveling through Quebec this time of year, too.

  8. sandy says:

    Your photos could not be any prettier. Our color so far, is very muted. Nothing like that! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Meanderer says:

    How lovely – such pretty colours. What types of tree are in there?

  10. seekraz says:

    So beautiful, Cait…similar to our Utah canyons and mountains…and so very different…rolling hills of forested color…what treasures.

  11. Donald says:

    Spectacular shots! Must have been a great weekend for walking in the woods. Your colors are a little ahead of us here in coastal Maine. After putting on a few pounds during my vacation, I feel that I must be living on the eat coast!

    • Hi donald, thank you, it was a perfect weekend for walking in the woods. And what a vacation you had, it sounded amazing! I hope you are adjusting ok to being back on the “eat coast” 😉

  12. Dazzling autumn colors you’re having there – great photographs! We must wait a little longer for ours to arrive. I love “the still melancholy” of the season, too.

    • Thanks Barbara, every autumnn seems beautiful, but I think the colours might actually be more amazing this year than others. I liked that part of the quote, too, and also how the scent of the forest brings relief to the “restless spirit.”

  13. Gorgeous shots, and a lovely Eliot quote. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Lisa says:

    Hi Cait!
    The opening shot reminded me so much of a tree in a train village – the depth of field is beautiful. It’s not quite full-blown autumn here yet, but your beautiful photos are making me excited for it to get here.

    • Hi Lisa and thank you! The tree does look tiny when you think of it that way (it is the top of a large tree). It’s going down to almost freezing at night now and we have our woodstove going. Seems so abrupt after such a hot summer, but I like it too.

  15. warriorlily says:

    Such a brilliance and clarity to your photos! – Lisa Comeau

  16. So wonderful to see the autumn shield colours. I remember them from childhood – they do something for the spirit: enliven and invigorate it somehow, which you have done for me by sharing these beautiful pictures.

    We have to look closely here for the reds, painted on berry shrubs in the understory. Our autumn vistas are mellow. Golden. No maples here, aspen and black poplar are the predominant deciduous tree in the boreal and foothills forests, sprinkled on the hills among the darkening fall greens of pine and spruce. Less abundant birch and tamarack lend their particular shades to the green to orange palette.

  17. Wow – so pretty! It must have been a glorious hike in all this color! We are getting there – probably about a month behind you.

  18. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Wow Cait! I’ve just been looking back a bit here and boy, you really picked THE perfect year to capture Autumn Foliage – in capitals because you’re right they were particularly spectacular in 2012. Fabulous photos!: ) But say, wasn’t that the year that Spring started REALLY early? Like, in March it was 30*C, we were sleeping with all the windows open and the Clematis was in bloom here. (Really more like July weather, right?!) It was a very strange year indeed; and I still can’t help but wonder if that massive earthquake off Honshu, Japan (2011-03-11) didn’t throw the whole world into disarray. Can’t believe it’s been 3 years already… Are you in the Ottawa Valley somewhere,or farther west? Your pics put me in mind of the highway alongside Skootamata/Mazinaw… *sigh*

    • Thanks so much, Deb 🙂 You aren’t far off about the location where the photos were taken – just a bit further west (good eye!). Margaret Laurence wrote about an area that a friend of hers called her “heartland,” meaning the hills around Bancroft in the fall, and I agree! I think that’s right about spring that year. I look at my first wildflower photos then and they were taken near the end of March. It’s hard to believe any wildflowers will see the sun within the next 2 weeks this year, isn’t it?! Yes, what a devastating earthquake that was three yrs ago (with the impact still felt). Thanks for all your lovely comments today!

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