In what has become an annual tradition, herewith is this year’s selection of photos I took during the Celtic Colours 2008 festival, primarily, but not exclusively of the fall foliage. This year’s colours were the most brilliant I remember seeing on Cape Breton Island during the six autumns I have attended the festival, even more so than last year’s, which set a very high standard. Moreover, unlike last year, they were outstanding in just about every part of Cape Breton that I visited, including many parts of the Cabot Trail that are often considerably less vivid. Last year’s weather during the festival was very poor; this year’s weather was significantly better, but still not anywhere near as good as the fabulous weather of two years ago. My primary reason for being in Cape Breton in the fall is, of course, the nearly non-stop music and this year’s festival certainly continued the tradition of superb concerts and wonderful camaraderie; as always, I had a great time! But, since I attended twelve concerts, three of which were in the afternoon, some of the times when the sun was out I was inside and not taking photos. When I was free to take photos, the weather was often either overcast or “cloudy with sunny breaks”, neither of which produce the best photos, but, when the sun was out, I was busy capturing as much as I could. So, you will see some sun and blue sky here, but you will also see a lot of clouds and grey skies.
The photos in this essay are presented in the order in which they were taken. This year, for the first time, all four of Cape Breton’s counties are represented, though the majority of the photos this year, as in previous years, are from Inverness County, where I spend most of my time when in Cape Breton. Some of my best photos this year were of places that appeared in last year’s essay, so I reluctantly left them out of this one to make room for other views that I have not previously presented.
I love to explore back roads and this year I discovered a new one, the Rear Barachois Road in Tarbotvale. It proved to be such a real find that I visited it twice and took many photos there, all, alas, under cloudy conditions; one of them is given here, but it breaks my heart that I have room for only one, as it is a gorgeous spot with numerous different vistas.
Like the view from the Rear Barachois Road, I have tried to select less common views that you might have missed when you were in the areas I travelled, though I am sure that at least a few of them will overlap those in your collection if you were lucky enough to have been there. The cornucopia of beautiful places that Cape Breton Island offers is so incredibly rich that it is impossible to even hit just the high spots during three weeks. And timing is everything: I have few photos of the Chéticamp and Margaree areas this year because the sun was missing in action when I was there. Fortunately, Mike Nielsen, who spent the fall in Petit-Étang outside Chéticamp, has assembled a slide show of his gorgeous fall photos that will fill in these lacunæ.
Victor Maurice Faubert
2008 November 11