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The Fleeting Beauty of Fall

It literally happens overnight.

I first noticed it on my favourite pathway, the one I’ve been enjoying all summer long. It takes me through the woods and for ten or fifteen minutes, I’m surrounded by critters, which is a hell of a lot better than walking on Merivale Road and being around traffic.

One morning, two weeks ago, I was greeted by a lone squirrel on a naked branch who seemed to be wondering where to hide. I could spot bird nests and woodpecker holes carved into trunks. Wait… wasn’t that tree green the day before?

It was starting—the leaves were leaving.

Summer leads to fall and fall leads to winter—we know the annual cycle but the story unfolds slightly differently each year. Plot development isn’t that predictable. Some years, fall can be like a long French movie where you can almost see each leaf changing colour while having an identity crisis and wondering about the meaning of life. Some years, it’s more like an American action movie with leafy trees going bare in a matter of hours.

I feel a sense of urgency. I want to enjoy warmish weather while I still can—sure, it’s 10⁰C but hey, good enough for a bomber jacket, anything but a winter coat! Right, it’s raining… but at least, it’s not snowing!

I know I have to capture the scenery fast because it could be gone the next day.

Last weekend, we went to Rideau Hall, the official residence in Ottawa of the Canadian monarch, to enjoy the fall colours. About a million of Chinese tourists had the same idea (and completely outclass me in terms of camera gear) but there was enough room for all of us.

At the end, we tried to recreate this picture of Mark as a newborn and me at Gatineau Park (Mark is a bit heavier now…).

First days of fall in Ottawa
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall (recreating a picture of Mark as a newborn)
Fall colours at Rideau Hall (recreating a picture of Mark as a newborn)
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Fall colours at Rideau Hall
Geese about to fly South on Sussex Drive

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