Fall colours spark us to capture Canada

0
Posted September 22, 2014 by Julia Pelish in Eco Tourism
Vibrant scenery can be enjoyed on the country roads in the Lanaudière-Mauricie region that is close to both big cities of Montreal and Quebec. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Vibrant scenery can be enjoyed on the country roads in the Lanaudière-Mauricie region, which is a short drive from either of Quebec’s two largest cities, Montreal and Quebec City. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Story and Photos by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor

Autumn’s shorter days stir up mixed feelings for me. A bit of panic sets in at the thought of winter’s approach, yet I am always surprised by the amount of delight I feel at this time of year. The arrival of cool, crisp days comes with sparkling skies of blue that burst with the full spectrum of the colour wheel.

Early morning mist burns off the stream on the country resort property of Auberge Le Baluchon in Saint-Paulin, Quebec. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

The morning mist burns off the stream during an early-morning walk at the gorgeous country resort of Auberge Le Baluchon in Saint-Paulin, Quebec. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

The joys of fall foliage draw many travellers to Canadian destinations that are known as ideal places to view the annual show. Spreading across Canada like an exuberant stadium wave, the fall colours showcase starts in the Atlantic provinces and moves westward with the setting sun to the far end of Vancouver Island. Canada is blessed with vast stunning landscapes that are connected by well-maintained roads and train stations. For many, outings to see the fall colours also include stops or overnight stays at the delightful towns that serve as base stations for trips into the nation’s parks and green spaces.

High Park is located in the west end of Toronto. It provides an oasis of calm for city residents and visitors, plus the park is easily accessible via public transit. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

In autumn, restaurant menus are filled with the bounty that harvest season brings. Even the shortest road trip can be turned into a golden staycation when you head out to explore the surroundings during September and October. Fall foliage viewing dates can be as variable as the weather so check one of the informative regional websites (some listed below) that track the optimum times to see the colours. Ontario and Quebec offer the most intense colours. Canada also has a wealth of national and provincial parks that provide ample trails and outdoor space for enjoying the beauty of fall.

The autumn colours arrive later in the season to Vancouver and the old-growth trees, shown here  in Stanley Park, look regal and magnificent.  (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

This is a season when I scheme for excuses to head outside with camera in hand to take advantage of so many photo opportunities. I love to photograph in early morning or evening because the quality of light is gentle and poetic. Each photographic moment reflects a unique set of  fluctuating elements: composition, subject, light, timing and colour. Colour (or lack of) can be a dynamic visual element and it has always had the power to grab my attention. In the fall, colour naturally becomes the subject of the image. It changes everything, even our mood. I find everyday sights — even mundane urban landscape — become transformed because of the shifting light and new palette of vivid seasonal hues.

The popping yellow greens stand out among this row of trees that overshadow the white-grey background in this stretch of Montreal. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Fall’s beauty has historically been a powerful source of inspiration for visual artists. The works of Tom Thomson and his friends who formed the Group of Seven — including Thomson’s Autumn Tapestry: Tangled Trees (fall, 1914) at the National Gallery in Ottawa and Franklin Carmichael’s October Gold (1922) at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario — are eternal reminders of the importance of this season on our collective culture.

Blues and yellow with white fluffy clouds on a perfect fall day last October at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Blues and yellow with white fluffy clouds on a perfect fall day at the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Perhaps it is because humans and trees share such a symbiotic relationship that we should celebrate their place in our world. Humans need the oxygen trees produce to create energy and we exhale the carbon dioxide that trees require to sustain their life cycle. No wonder I love nature and observing the seasons.

A birds-eye view of autumn's colourful treetops seen from Auberge de la Montagne Coupée, a country manor within park lands in the town of Saint Jean de Martha, Quebec. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

A bird’s-eye view of autumn’s colourful treetops seen from Auberge de la Montagne Coupée, a country manor in the town of Saint Jean de Martha, Quebec. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)


About the Author

Julia Pelish
avatar

A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is Vacay.ca’s Visuals Editor. See her work at www.juliapelish.com/blog.

 
Top 50 Restaurants in Canada
 
  • nick-kennedy-civil-liberties-toronto-bartender
  • jason-bangerter-langdon-hall-sturgeon-skin-2016-small
  • Chef Roy Oh-Anju-Calgary
  • gooseneck-barnacles-geoduck-wolf-in-the-fog-tofino-bc
  • Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk
 


Touring powers Winnipeg’s Mise en Scene
¤