Monday, October 13, 2008
Thanksgiving Colour and Creatures
We are enjoying a beautiful Indian Summer with bright sunshine and warm temperatures during the day. Evenings are cool and clear and a full moon is lighting up the night sky. Autumn is truly my favourite season. We live within a half hour drive of the Niagara escarpment and visit several spots long this high limestone spine several times a year.
We drove to the Hamilton/Burlington area this weekend to see the colours and to check for migrating birds along Lake Ontario. (more on that in another post). It is a wonder I did not drive off the road more than once as one beautiful view after another unfolded across the landscape. The northern edge of the Carolinian forest hugs the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and Erie and extends a little way up the eastern shore of Lake Huron.
This primarily deciduous forest is made up of oak, birch, ash, chestnut, hickory and walnut trees. Maple trees are also found and the colour on the escarpment is spectacular throughout the month of October. Many waterfalls are created by the escarpment as streams tumble over the cliffs creating deep gorges over time.
Lake Ontario was calm and beckoning. Most of the big yachts at this marina have already been removed for the winter but a couple of kayakers in bright fiber glass crafts skimmed across the waters of Burlington Bay. Large groups of American coots, common mergansers, and black ducks have joined the cormorants, mallards, gulls, geese and swans who stay around all year. More water birds will be arriving soon.
The park at LaSalle Marina is a favourite of mine for the water birds and also for the tame birds and chipmunks along the trails. My husband was surrounded by chipmunks who filled their cheeks with sunflower seeds and scurried away to hoard it for the winter. Chickadees fed from his hand, a first for him.
The flock of Trumpeter Swans is growing as nesting pairs return with their young to winter in this bay. These swans walk right up to you looking for a hand out. They were trumpeting loudly and attracting a lot of attention.
I am on my way out again to enjoy another perfect afternoon on this holiday Monday. It is time to store up the sunshine, warmth and beauty before the winter winds blow.
Postscript... I have enjoyed sharing the beauty of the Canadian Thanksgiving season over the past few posts. My lovely daughter Becka may look like me, but her twist on Thanksgiving is completely different than mine!