Photo #1 was taken on Sunday, as I was returning from Boularderie Island, where I stayed after the end of Saturday’s concert in Sydney. It is on the way down Alpine Ridge heading into Southwest Mabou and offers a good view in the sun of Rocky Ridge, which spans the entire width of this photo at the horizon. As can be seen, the colours aren’t very bright here, a condition caused by both the large number of evergreens and the large number of bare deciduous trees, such as the one at the far right, seen (under magnification) all over the right of the photo on Rocky Ridge.
Photos #2, #3, #4, and #5 were taken on Monday, as I was returning from a mostly disappointing back roads meander that turned up few photos of fall colours. The skies were mostly grey, with occasional rays of the sun reaching through the clouds, as at the left of photo #2, but this view, taken from further down the summit than photo #1, does show a few fall colours, mostly well past their peak, though the trees at the centre are still changing—a mixture of green and orange at this point. No lock-step regimentation here!
Photo #3 shows the changing tamaracks along the Alpine Ridge Road. These useful trees are found all over Cape Breton Island, but especially on its east coast, where they are ubiquitous. These trees are still in the process of changing; the needles on some of the branches are still green, while others have lost their chlorophyll. The overall impression is of an orangish brown, but eventually they will turn a golden yellow all over, after which their needles will drop off completely.
Photo #4 is a close-up of a stand of trees seen in photo #3. The tamaracks change colour much earlier than those I am familiar with in New York State; they also lose their needles sooner and are more golden in colour while they have them.
Photo #5 shows another tamarack from a bit further up the road towards the summit that better illustrates the golden yellow colour of the tamaracks in Cape Breton; it is still obviously only partly changed, but rather than the orangish browns seen in the two previous photos, the colours are more golden, albeit with a bit of an orange tinge still.
Photo #6, taken Sunday, shows a beautiful red/gold tree reflecting the sun along the Alpine Ridge Road. The adjacent trees are mostly without leaves; why this one has its still I have no idea, but I was very glad it did!