If one continues east towards West Mabou from the Colindale Road guard rails, one arrives 1.6 km (1 mi) later on the side of the hill from which the first three photos on this page were taken. It is still in Colindale, but the road sign for West Mabou is at the bottom of the hill.
From this vantage point, let your eyes wander slowly across the glorious panorama seen in photo #1, which shows nearly the entirety of the southern edge of the Cape Mabou Highlands (only Mabou Mountain is missing), from Mabou Harbour Mountain at the far left to the unnamed mountain at the far right. The Mabou River lies hidden at the foot of the Highlands, invisible except for its mouth off Green Point; even though its beauty is missing from the scene, I find the spectacle simply entrancing—Cape Mabou and its Highlands, from whatever the vantage point, is truly one of the great glories of Cape Breton Island!
Photo #2 is a detail of the portion of the panorama in photo #1 to the right of centre, an area of the Cape Mabou Highlands I call the “amphitheatre” for its distinctive horseshoe shape when seen from certain vantage points, though here that shape is much less pronounced. In the centre of this photo, you will notice a yellow triangular shape beyond a line of boulders that mark the edge of a small parking area: this is the gate on the West Mabou Beach access road, a portion of which can be seen at the left descending the hill. To the right of centre, you will see a roof top; it is near the road which leads to Mabou Coal Mines, ducking behind the 45° slope descending from the upper far left to the centre of the photo and heading off into the Highlands. A portion of Mabou Harbour Road on the north side of the Mabou River can be seen at the far left of the photo.
Photo #3, taken with a shorter focal length, encompasses much of the view in photo #2 and adds the unnamed mountain at the far right of the panorama in photo #1. The road curving to the right is the West Mabou Road, which is the continuation of the Colindale Road in West Mabou. In this view, which includes the “amphitheatre”, the horseshoe shape is a bit more pronounced.
Photo #4 is taken from the east side of the prominence at the far right of photo #3, along the Northeast Mabou Road. It shows the southeastern corner of the Cape Mabou Highlands, again minus Mabou Mountain, which sits off to the left and outside the scope of this photo. The valley in which the red barn sits was carved by the tiny Northeast Mabou River, whose course from Glenora Falls is through the trees in the middle ground of the photo. With the clouds casting their shadows on the Highlands, this is a study in greens, still vivid with their springtime hues. What a beautiful scene!
Photo #5 continues the view of the Cape Mabou Highlands to the north: the slope at the far left of this photo is the rightmost part of the mountain seen in the centre of photo #4. This view is a common one in my fall photo essays, as the fall colours here are usually spectacular and, added to the intrinsic beauty of the Highlands themselves, simply demand to be seen. But on this spectacular late spring day, there’s not a touch of red to be seen anywhere. Evidence of recent logging, doubtless to clear dead white spruce trees, can be seen on the hillside right of centre. Alas, the skeletons of dead spruce are still to be seen nearly everywhere, in Cape Mabou and throughout Cape Breton Island, the sad skeletons of once proud, beautiful, and aromatic trees. But, as the green shows in the recently cleared area, new growth is coming back wherever the old skeletons are removed.