Photo #1 looks down the short distance from where I stopped to the end of Blaze Road on the Cabot Trail. The mountain at the right is Theodore Fricker Mountain,¹ which rises above Grays Hollow in the centre; North Mountain is in the distance at the centre of the photo. The trees along the Cabot Trail are still in their early stages of fall colour; those along Blaze Road are further along.
Photo #2 looks on the left side of the road where two blazing red trees were as bright as any I’ve seen anywhere. There are very few traces of chlorophyll left in either one: they are at or very close to peak. What beautiful reds!
¹ The topographical map (11 K/15) labels this mountain as Tenerife Mountain, and so it was officially known until 2009, though how it came by that name I do not know: Tenerife is the biggest of the seven Canary Islands, which lie off the coast of Africa, and the most populous. According to this CBC article, in 2009, two years after Theodore Fricker’s death and in response to a local petition (most locals didn’t know its official name and just called it Theodore’s Mountain or Ted’s Mountain), the province renamed the mountain in honour of a man who spent most of his life there and, in the words of a simple memorial plaque in the barrens on the plateau inland of that mountain that I was privileged to see, was “a man with a love and passion for the moose and this mountain”. The more recent Parks Canada Cape Breton Highlands National Park Topographic Map labels this mountain as Theodore Fricker Mountain, but now places the label “Tenerife” on the north side of Johns Brook, where that mountain is locally known as “The Peak” for its triangular shaped rock face.
Photo #3 is a close-up of the rightmost tree in photo #2. What a blaze of glory! It is trees such as this one that make my spirit jump for joy when I see them!
Photo #4 is a close-up of its shorter neighbour, the leftmost tree in photo #2. It is hard to tell whether this is a single tree or multiple trees, as I think more likely, but it certainly does as well red-wise as its taller neighbour! Simply lovely!
Photo #5 looks at the east side of the road, where there were also some red trees; the darker reds at the centre and centre right are not so far along as those on the far side of the road, but the shorter trees left of centre and in the centre are nearly as bright as those across the road—and would be as bright were the sun shining on them as it did on those. The grey skeletons (one left of centre and the other right of centre) are the dead remains of trees attacked by the spruce bark beetle, a plague that has decimated beautiful trees all over Cape Breton Island in the past decade. The positive is that their demise makes room for new trees to sprout up in their stead; hopefully, here it will be more of the gorgeous red maples seen on this page.
Photo #6 is another view of trees along the east side of Blaze Road; in this area, the colours seem to be more red-oranges and yellows, though some may turn brighter red with time. Notice again two more skeletons in the upper left of the photo; both are recently dead, not yet having time to assume the ghostly grey seen in those of photo #5. The white plant in the lower left is pearly everlasting, a very pretty addition to this assemblage of fall hues.