Monday, September 2, 2013

Farewell To Summer

If summer was a book, this weekend would be the the final page declaring it to be The End. I know that technically there are still a few weeks of summer left, and we often have the best weather of the whole year during the month of September. But realistically, here in Canada the Labour Day long weekend marks the end of the season.

We have had brilliant weather over the past couple of days, and I have managed to take advantage of it. Yesterday Jay and I went out kayaking. Instead of putting the kayaks in at the southern end of the lake near where we live, we went up to the big provincial campground at the north end of the lake. This is the view looking to the south.


The mountains were spectacular. At this time of the year the light is softer, and there isn't any haze in the air.



There were mergansers.



And lots of geese. I managed to get a picture just as they started to fly away. Not an easy feat while in a kayak that is rocking from side to side!


Today I hiked up Tea Pot Hill. I think someone was confused and thought they were hiking up Tea Cup Hill.


I could sense the shifting of the seasons as I hiked along the path. We have had more rain recently, and there has been a population explosion of slugs.


One lonely caterpillar was on the path.


Just like the light on the mountains, the light filtering through the trees is now softer.


There is a faint smell of fall in the air, and traces of it on the ground.



Life here at The Cottages is shifting gears as well. There are only about eighteen cottages that have "year-rounders" like us occupying them. This means that for most people this weekend will be the end of their cottage season, and other than the occasional weekend or holiday they won't be back until next summer. It is about to get very, very quiet around here.

37 comments:

  1. So beautiful. You live in a really spectacular place. That caterpillar is fascinating to me, I don't think I've ever seen one like it before.

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    1. I thought the caterpillar was interesting too. I have no idea what kind it is either, so hopefully someone will leave a comment letting us know.

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  2. That is one big slug too, be careful they don't carry away any of your stuff!

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    1. That slug is a baby compared to the banana slugs they have down here!

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  3. Very beautiful photos of the beautiful area you live in Kristie. Kayaking seems the perfect way to enjoy it all. So funny the teacup on the hill, and I love the sculptural effect of moss (?) on the trees and logs.

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    1. Yes, it is moss on the trees and logs. While we have been enjoying one of the driest summers they have had in years here at Cultus, that moss is a constant reminder to me of what is bound to come. We live in a coastal rain forest - everything is so green for a reason!

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  4. Beautiful pictures, Kristie. You have really caught the light in the forest so well.

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    1. The light filtering through the tress is one of my favourite things about walking through the forest here.

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  5. Great post - love the mergansers, we get them on the coast as well. It will be interesting for you to be there without all the 'summer folk', didn't realize how much it was a summer community (we see it advertised in real estate even here on the coast).

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    1. To be honest I have kind of been looking forward to having the place mostly to ourselves. I'm a hermit. :-)

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  6. Great photos! I bet there's a story behind that tea cup. It reminds me of my grandmother's, but it looks much newer. Are the summer folk allowed to rent out their cottages during the off-season?

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    1. I'm sure there is a story, but we will never know what it is.

      Yes, people can rent their places out, but there are some strict rules about what is and isn't allowed. We might need to rent someone's cottage at Christmas if everyone comes home - there are way too many of us to fit in here!

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  7. Fall is the most beautiful time of the year, imo. And what a beautiful setting you have in which to enjoy it!
    == stashdragon

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    1. I agree Stashdragon! Fall is by far my most favourite season of the year. But there is a part of me that wasn't quite ready to let go of what has been a very amazing summer.

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  8. As a graduate of UC Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) I'm a sucker for a big beautiful slug. That one's pretty awesome.

    Presumably you'll get really good at updating the photos on the right bar as Lucy continues to grow.

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    1. It's nice to find another slug admirer. Of course, my admiration will stop next spring when I try to put in a garden here. Those slugs won't look so cute then!

      Yes, I will have to keep updating Lucy's side bar picture - probably on a monthly basis!

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  9. I've no idea what the caterpillar is - butI would bet anything you like that you don't want to touch it! Those hairs will surely bring out a rash, if it follows common caterpillar rules,

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    1. You are right about not touching it. I remember when my oldest son was about six years old and let a caterpillar crawl all over his bare stomach. The resulting rash was quite nasty.

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  10. Gorgeous photos, Kristie. I particularly like the mossy trees and the amazing caterpillar. You live in the most spectacular area. The year is on the turn over here too, with chillier nights and the beginnings of misty mornings. But we're being forecast more warm sunshine too, so I do hope it lasts for your visit.

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    1. Oh please keep that sun shining for a couple more weeks! :-)

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  11. Such beautiful pics! I'm not ready to give up summer yet, either, but today the rain came down in buckets... a sure sign that school is IN session!

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    1. We had buckets of rain here too. It was like someone turned the good weather switch off during the night. It still feels weird not thinking about "back to school" even though Alexandra finished several years ago.

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  12. How lovely to finish the day kayaking on the lake. It all sounds wonderful to me. Beautiful pictures Kristie. Here in the UK we are having an Indian summer - very hot weather still although the mornings and evenings are getting chilly now. I love the Autumn and seek out the signs every day now.
    Patricia x

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    1. I love autumn too, Patricia. This has just been such a spectacular summer though I am sort of sad to see it end. I hope your Indian summer in the UK continues while I am hiking in Wales!

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  13. I love the slug and the caterpillar! I'm not normally a bug person, either. The tea cup is too cute. Looks like a lovely day!

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    1. That poor caterpillar better hurry up and change into something before winter sets in. It won't do well in the cold. The slugs will thrive in the forest all winter though. I thought they were both rather pretty. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who liked them. :-)

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  14. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaSeptember 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Slugs, ugh (sorry!). Our area is similar in having lots of cottage folk around during the summer. It's amazing how quiet our little road has become now that Labour Day has come and gone. Your lake is beautiful! We can hardly see the water through the trees at our place, but we hear the geese and loons all the time. I'm a bit of a hermit too, that's why we invested in 25 acres! Not sure I could cope with having close neighbours at this stage (we had some bad experiences in suburbia...).

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    1. I envy you your 25 acres! We are fortunate in that our neighbours are all very nice. At least the ones we have encountered so far. One of the things that appealed to me about this place when we were considering buying was knowing those nice neighbours would only be around a couple months of the year though.

      Listening to the geese and the loons must be lovely. We are about a ten minute walk from the south end of the lake, so it's a bit too far away to hear the water birds. But we have lots of other ones keeping us company right around the cottage. :-)

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  15. How nice, I didn't realize that some of your new neighbors were only summer residents. That will make for a peaceful winter, won't it?

    You're having the same experience I have when trying to take bird photos while kayaking. The rocking definitely makes it challenging. I've had good results with a faster shutter speed though, so keep that in mind if you hadn't thought of it yet. Love your mergansers, and the mountain scenery is just amazing!

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    1. Oh, I tried to identify your caterpillar. Found an article with a photo that looks very similar -- apparently it's some kind of woolly bear caterpillar that will turn into a type of tiger moth. Neat.

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    2. Thanks for looking up the caterpillar for me. I think woolly bears are one of the kinds that make you itchy if you touch them.

      If it is calm on the water it isn't too bad for pictures, but on Sunday we were at the busy end of the lake. That and the fact that it was a warm day meant there were lots of power boats around which made the water quite choppy. I don't have a fancy camera like you - just a point and shoot. I don't think I can change the shutter speed.

      Yes, it should be a very peaceful winter. :-)

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  16. Lovely pictures, and I just LOVE the teapot. (You knew I would didn'tt you???)

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    1. Thanks Peony! The parks people are continuing to remove the tea pots, and hikers just keep putting them back again. :-)

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    2. The park people are stupid. I think it is such a cute thing.

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    3. I agree. I am thinking about going into their office and talking to them about it. I have a truce I want to present.

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  17. WOW! You live in an extraordinarily beautiful area. I miss the outdoors terribly. Looking at your pictures makes me want to book a hiking trip immediately. We were meant to go kayaking on the Chicago River over Labor Day weekend, but rain interfered and we were forced to reschedule for later in the month.

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    1. It is beautiful here, Michelle. I'm sorry your kayaking trip got postponed. How disappointing! Hopefully it works out for later this month.

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