Wednesday morning, I awoke to overcast skies threatening rain but with some promise of sun occasionally breaking through the clouds. I wasn’t certain whether I was going to stay longer — I was perfectly willing to do so had the weather coöperated — but the forecast was grim for the next few days, so, after tying up some loose ends, I took a quick pass down the Cèilidh Trail for a goodbye look at always glorious Cape Mabou, no matter what the weather. The photos on this page were taken from the Northeast Mabou Road as I circled back towards Mabou and my now imminent departure from the island.
Photo #1 shows the state of the fall colours on the Cape Mabou Highlands this grey Wednesday morning. As can be seen, they were now very close to their peak; contrast this with photo #3 from Sunday, where significant amounts of green were still to be seen. Now, the greens are mostly gone, though a few are still to be seen on the flanks of the hills, replaced by oranges, yellows, and bright reds. The lovely red trees just right of centre in the foreground are but examples of many now seen along the foot of the Cape. The red barn in the centre of the photo surrounded by green fields adds to the beauty of this marvellous scene, even bereft of vivifying sunlight.
Photo #2, taken a few minutes earlier very close to the Cèilidh Trail, shows more of the colours close to and below the level of the road. Numerous brilliant reds are visible there, too, just begging for some sun to bring them to life. This scene would indeed exemplify the “painted forest” were any stray beam of light to land on it; even without, it is pretty amazing! What a symphony of colours!
Taken from the same location as photo #2, photo #3 looks across to the Highlands west of Glenora Falls. The frost-stricken hay that borders the road in the foreground adds its own fall hue to the brighter colours of the scene. There is again a riot of colour, dull only because the sun is in hiding.
Photo #4 was taken very close to the junction of the Northeast Mabou and Mabou Harbour Roads; this section of the road has always delivered beautiful bright reds in previous years and this year was no exception. There are three different shades here, a pinkish more pastel red at the far left, a bright red in the middle, and a red/green mix at the right. Lovely trees in a lovely spot!
After capturing the trees, I walked across the road for one last look at West Mabou, on the other side of the Mabou River at the centre of the photo. The fall-coloured grasses in the grassy patch in the centre of the photo first caught my eye. Then I focussed on the brightly coloured trees around the mouth of the Northeast Mabou River, sadly feeling the lack of sunlight but doing their best, until I reached the area nearest the bridge, where I saw a good-sized flock of Canada geese swimming placidly beneath the brightly coloured shores.