A drive along the Northeast Mabou Road from its junction with the Mabou Harbour Road to its junction with the Cèilidh Trail (Highway 19) at Hawleys Hill is always a pretty drive and never more so than in the fall, where one normally sees brilliant tress of every hue and open vistas of the Cape Mabou Highlands decorated in their finest colours. I was therefore shocked when, three days before I left, I turned onto Northeast Mabou Road at Northeast Cove: I didn’t find the usual striking colours on the trees at that junction and the light wasn't proper to catch the reflections of Mabou Mountain in the Northeast Mabou River. I’ve no idea why none of the usual trees were bright, as there were some gorgeous trees to be seen along this road, just not in their usual places. Very strange…
Photo #1 is a portion of a stand of trees that brought my slow peregrination along the road to a full stop in admiration. Brilliant colours, variegated with reds and lemons and limes and oranges, flickering in the bright sun, like those at the Mabou Harbour Road junction of previous years, but even brighter!
Photo #2 is a close-up of the tree at the far left of photo #1. What a beauty! As best as I can tell, the leaves are primarily on a single tree, mostly an orange very close to red, but with significant amounts of gold, not only at the right of the photo where they predominate, but scattered throughout the rest of the tree as well. Given some green leaves at the bottom right, I suspect the golden leaves are still in the process of changing colours from green to the orange/red of the others. What a gorgeous tree!
Photo #3 is of a portion of the centre tree in photo #1, where the leaves are a bright red, though many clearly have residual chlorophyll in their turned leaves; others are halfway between pure green and bright red. The yellow leaves are from a tree beind the one with the red leaves.
Photo #4 looks beyond the right edge of photo #1 where another bright red tree is surrounded by others still changing from their summer greens. Nature’s palette is here shown in its glory, though with no browns, and the sun just makes the colours shimmer when one stands before them.
Photo #5 is a close-up of the tree in photo #4, taken from a slightly different vantage point. How glorious these lovely reds are in the sun!
Photo #6 is a close-up of another branch in photo #4. again taken from a slightly different vantage point. Truly, “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these”!
Photo #7, taken after leaving the lovely trees seen in the previous photos on this page, on the other hand, shows how dull the colours were on Cape Mabou itself, where the few spots lit by the sun breaking through the clouds are no brighter than the portions in the shade. Compare this photo with this one and especially this one from 2011, taken under essentially the same lighting conditions, and those starting here from last year in bright sun; the contrast is striking—many of the trees are already bare on the mountainsides and the colours, even down in the valley, lack the brilliance of the two previous years. Very strange indeed!