Fall Colours in Kingston Ontario, my hometown!
Tree-lined Breakwater Park borders Lake Ontario near Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario.
Cooler weather has finally settled in to Eastern Canada after a long hot dry summer. While I thoroughly enjoyed the sizzling temperatures, I was apprehensive about what the fall months would bring. After having lived on the Caribbean island of Dominica for almost 20 years, who could blame me for fearing the worst, in terms of a plummeting thermometer!
As it turned out, semi-tropical weather accompanied me on a mid-October Canadian Thanksgiving journey to the east coast of Canada to visit relatives. Unusually warm, sweltering, sunny days preceded the heavy deluge that Nova Scotia received from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew on October 10th, Thanksgiving Monday.
But several days before that powerful storm drenched this Maritime Province, spectacular scenery occupied the shorter autumn days of my train journey on ‘The Ocean‘. When I booked the excursion from Kingston Ontario to connect with the east coast train departing from Montreal, Quebec,I had forgotten that I would not have the long summer hours of daylight to see the sites/sights along the way. But no matter: I was better rested during the overnight segment of the 27 hour trip and was duly rewarded with colourful landscapes the next morning as the train passed through the upper St. Lawrence Valley of Quebec, crossed in to northern New Brunswick, following along the Mirimichi River in a southerly direction to the innermost marshlands of the Bay of Fundy at Sackville, New Brunswick and Amherst Nova Scotia. By the time we approached Halifax around 7 p.m., weary passengers were rewarded with a sensational sunset over a lake situated just north of the provincial capital of Halifax.
For a map of my rail journey, click here.
On the train, some of nature’s palette of colours that I admired from my window seat:
Thanks to the gorgeous weather which continued during my visit with relatives in the Annapolis Valley, it was easy to go on long walks and drives every day except the one when heavy rains kept most people inside, recovering from their Thanksgiving feasts.
The fall festive season in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia completely reflected the abundance of the harvest. While there had been a prolonged drought during the short growing season, certain crops definitely did thrive. The hues of orange and related shades on the spectrum blended sweetly with the greens and browns of the now-barren fields:
It was so easy to choose a pumkin – for pie, decoration or Jack O’ Lantern!
Farm markets in the Annapolis Valley highlighted the harvest season with natural adornments.
‘Sister’ Patricia’s attractive porch display was a sight to behold.
Golden late summer raspberries tasted as sweet as they looked!
On a fine day after Hurricane Matthew’s remnants had lashed Nova Scotia, my cousin Greg took my Aunt Vivian and me on a drive through part of the Annapolis Valley. Then my cousin Dwight and ‘sister’ Patricia took me over to historic and scenic Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site
just before I departed for Halifax the next day. While some leaves had fallen due to the high winds of the previous Monday, there was sufficient foliage to admire in the heart of this beautiful Canadian province:
Grand Pre, with a view to Cape Blomidon and the Minas Basin.
A Sugar Maple opposite my Aunt’s home in the Annapolis Valley, N.S.
‘Pumpkin People’ were common sights in the Annapolis Valley around Thanksgiving.
Butler Lake, near Near Ross, N.S.
A view of the Minas Basin from Wolfville, N.S.
A walk with my cousins through the campus of Acadia University in Wolfville N.S. on Thanksgiving Sunday.
A ‘Burning Bush’ in Wolfville N.S.
There were even vibrant flowers, sweet berries and hardy plants to admire, thanks to the temperate weather in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. But I am sure that my cousins’ green thumbs had something to do with that too:
An October rose – stunning!
The holly and the ivy are having a good year!
On my way back to Kingston (by air!), I spent a short time in Halifax, the major urban centre in the Maritimes and my home for many years. As the weather remained fine well into October, I was struck by the beauty of this lovely city and remembered other times there when the prolonged autumn was moderated by the post-summer warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Point Pleasant Park, Halifax NS, looking out of the harbour.
Full moon over Halifax Harbour.
From the Boardwalk along Halifax Harbour, a view of the city in the twilight.
An east coast meal at the Bluenose Cafe in Halifax: codfish cakes, sweet potato fries, Caesar salad and condiments.
Historic St. Matthew’s United Church in downtown Halifax
View from Citadel Hill with the Clock Tower in the foreground, Halifax Harbour and Dartmouth on the opposite shore in the background.
A colorful mural of Halifax on Dresden Row in the centre of the city.
And now that November’s here, in multi-shades of grey, I am thankful to have had such a sensational and scenic autumn in eastern Canada. While it did not offer the endless greens found in Dominica, the region’s pre-winter natural beauty was definitely good for my soul!