When I reached Highway 252, I went into Whycocomagh to fill up the car’s gas tank for the afternoon’s trip to Moncton and then returned to Highway 252, heading for one last look at Cape Mabou and the Mabou River. As I got to the outskirts of Whycocomagh, Skye Mountain was beautiful in the sun, so I stopped to get some photos; those on this page were taken there.
Photo #1 is the portion of Skye Mountain visible at that point along the road; although the plants in the foreground appear to have been frost-burnt, the field’s gorgeous green grasses certainly haven’t been—the grass could hardly have been any greener in the spring. Skye Mountain is a massive mountain running southwest out along the Trans-Canada Highway, where it merges into the Big Ridge beyond Blues Mills, and west along the Whycocomagh Road all the way to the Kewstoke Brook Bridge: it is the southeasternmost point of the unnamed great interior plateau of southern Inverness County that includes River Denys Mountain and Creignish Mountain. The folds in its slopes seen here are very typical of Skye Mountain, appearing everywhere along its edges.
Photo #2 looks to the left (southeast) along the side of Skye Mountain. The dark heather colour seen here (and from the South Side Roseburn Road earlier in this essay) will reveal itself shortly to be an artefact of the light. There is, however, a considerable amount of green mixed in with the fall colours, as the trees at the edge of the field attest.
Photo #3 is a telephoto view of a part of the mountain at the right of photo #1. The lovely stand of lemony-yellow trees in the lower centre of photo #3 catches the eye and can be found repeated in individual trees elsewhere on these slopes. While this photo still gives an overall initial impression of the dark heather colour in photo #2, closer examination reveals plenty of colours on mountainside. This is definitely a mixed forest, unlike that on Campbells Mountain, with lots of evergreens interspersed with the hardwoods that contribute to that darker hue as do a number of hardwoods that are still green or have only recently begun to change. But everywhere one looks, there are also changed hardwoods, particularly on the lower elevations at the right of the photo, where oranges and even some reds stand out, primarily because they are closer to the camera; the same colouration would surely be seen were one closer to the trees along the upper slopes.
Photo #4, looking north of northwest where the sun is directly hitting the slopes, makes that point very well. Here, the overall impression is not of dark heather, but of a much brighter red/orange/green mixture. One can validly say, however, that these trees are not at their peak, since so many green leaves still remain to change; it will surely be another week or more before the colours will reach their peak here.
Photo #5 is a wider angled view that includes the details of photo #4 and looks even further to the north, including the trees at the edge of the field. Like photo #4, it lacks the dark heather tones as well. Instead, it is the variegated nature of the colours that strikes one, with no one colour predominating. After so many years, it doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s nevertheless a bit strange how the effects of the lighting can so significantly change one’s perception of the underlying colours.