The splendor of fall 2003

The splendor of fall 2003

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Though we make the assumption that fall and all that goes with it happens every year, actually that isn't the case. some years the leaves fall off quickly or turn colour quickly and a high wind removes them, some year they just turn an ugly brown and last year the actually froze right on the trees without actually changing colour. This year we have been blessed with a long and gradual change from summer to winter. The long August drought stressed the trees in town and they changed

colour long before the trees in the countryside. Today the drab clouds parted and brilliant sunlight swept over the roads and fields. It was about 12:15 that I drove West to the Valparaiso turn off and then turned South (right) (The pictures above were taken along highway #3 West of town)

The light rains and cool weather has turned the country a little green as weeds are getting back

in business and grass is growing quite nicely.

I stopped at a little bridge and caught the bright sunlight lighting up the little creek Then drove on South soaking up the sunlight. It is interesting to see that driving into the sun the trees are far more colourful that with the sun behind you, The main reason for this illusion is that the dark shadows provide the added contrast that make the colours stand out.

The last two nights the temperature has slipped below freezing curling up the green leaves and moving the trees toward the realisation that this year's growing season is now over.

Saskatchewan's aspen trees are not alone in the country with a wide variety of willows and small shrub and berry trees that make up the underbrush almost everywhere you look.

Another small bridge and creek had me out of the van capturing the scene on both sides of the roadway. Below, the creek twists around a farm yard with a lot of dead fall probably caused by both flooding some years ago and by livestock.

When I think of autumn I remember those years in school, perhaps grade four when fall was especially late and muddy. The puddles froze over and the splashes of muddy water on the way to school from rubber boots and thin ice over footprints. Our school yard was surrounded with maple trees and piles of leaves provided ammunition for

wonderful fluffy battles. Unlike snow fights a shirt full of leaves is just plain funny.

From these pictures you can see that only the colours have changed where as in town the streets are piling up with the shedding leaves that seem to float from the trees wiggling their way toward the ground where they lie there restless waiting for a little breeze to tumble them around.

A few hundred yards further South is an intersection with the creek crossing the road to the East (below) and flat land stretching out to the South and the West. It looked like a perfect spot to do a QuickTime VR for you to see what the country side is like 360º.
If you do not see the picture here you need to download the free QuickTime VR, it is easy to install and with it in your computer you can experience better video and audio streaming as well as see this panorama.

I was more than half way around the horizon when I heard the sound of a machine and to my surprise discovered that the field to the Southeast of the intersection was being harvested. Most combining has been finished for a couple of weeks but this
crop of alfalfa seed is being cleaned up as this picture was being taken.

A mile South of the intersection this slough is covered with migratory birds, mostly blue and snow geese. Seems like a nice out of the way spot to float about and enjoy their last week or so of time in Canada for a few months.

I then drove back North the mile and headed East a mile or so and turned down toward the Mann farm where the road comes to an abrupt end with colourful trees along each side.

Below the underbrush is displaying the widest range of colour I had encountered so far and peeking through the trees you can see the year stubble field behind. Once again its seemed like a good place to do a QuickTime VR so that I could share this experience.

This scene begins looking due South and just off to the Southwest is the elevator of Paul Roy then open country. One of the problems of doing a VR is what to do with the Van, but in this case it gives some perspective.

Back in town (below) I almost wondered if a voice would come from this little bush. Perhaps that is indeed what was meant when the "burning bush" was described, perhaps it was just one like this one.

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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