Time is of the essence. The temperatures are often seasonal now and before long the snow will fly. In November last year, when we had snow, it stayed. Now my husband and I are hiking as often as we can and enjoying our last picnics for the year.
Our most recent excursion was to a demonstration woodlot which has an interpretative trail west of our home. The noon day sun created its autumn shadows across the trail. Georgie, the golden grand-dog was off lead again as we were the only people in the area.
The trail has natural wooded areas and mature plantations. The height of autumn colour was a perfect time to visit. We admired the golds, reds and yellows which surrounded us but some scenes were particularly striking.
The red oak leaves demanded attention whether on a single tree
or in a group of trees along the trail.
A huge tree stump had the question, “How old,” on a sign beside it.
As we attempted to estimate the age of the tree, Georgie, not to be ignored, stood on the stump.
We looked at each other and laughed, “Seven.”
Farther along, a stand of Norway spruce had an area with lots of cones on the forest floor. We had noticed seedless cones in some stands of Norway spruce but these were huge cones filled with seeds. While we examined them, another fell from the tree tops. Georgie was intrigued by this and checked out the cone. Meanwhile another fell near the last one; Georgie checked that one too. And on it went.
Squirrels, heard above but unseen in the tall spruce, were chewing through the stalks of the cones which fell to the forest floor. Seedless cones are visible in the lower right of the photo below too.
With the size of this stand of Norway spruce, the squirrels in this area will be well fed this winter.
In a huge stand of Eastern cedar, the forest floor was covered in rusty coloured bits of cedar from the lower branches as the trees grow upwards.
No light made it through the canopy and the rusty forest floor was unique in appearance, colour and texture.
We had lunch under a red maple near an inlet of Malpeque Bay.
A red maple and a wild apple tree provided some shade for the picnic table.
As we ate lunch, enjoying every morsel of our sandwiches and black tea, a flock of red breasted nuthatches landed in the trees around us. They didn’t stay long but I managed to take one photo.
I have admired striped maples this fall and the leaves on these trees along the trail were huge, evenly coloured and resembled patterned velvet.
Finally, as we finished on the trail there was another picnic area with a guest book. There, we finally saw a raccoon, though not a typical one. Hope he doesn't do too much damage with that axe.