Canada’s Autumn Colors

Filed in Travel by on October 26, 2014

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I‘ll say it straight 0ut: I dread autumn. Not because it’s the worst season, but because it’s a harbinger of winter, which in these remorseful parts tend to be cold, dreary and far too long, unless you’re a skier, a skater or, let’s face it, a masochist.

Autumn, however, has one redeeming feature that compensates for its drawbacks  — the lovely, luminous fall colors.

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Once the weather starts turning cooler, especially at night, the green leaves on deciduous trees, maples in particular, turn shades of flaming crimson and yellow, lighting up our lives.

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The transformation, though gradual, is magnificent. And on a bright, sunny day, the metamorphosis is all the more striking, the rays of precious sunshine rendering the leaves almost translucent.

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This natural spectacle is really nothing less than an exquisite work of art — a dazzling palette that brightens up otherwise typically cloudy days during October. By mid-November, sadly, the show is virtually over, the rainy spells having blown and lashed the leaves off the branches, leaving the trees looking bare, forlorn and spectral.

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The fallen leaves collect in untidy mounds on lawns, roads and sidewalks, curling up as they harden and decay. Soon, they’re collected by municipal trucks. If left long enough on the ground, mountains of leaves give off a refreshing and intoxicating tooth paste scent.

The autumn colors are best seen in the countryside, far from the noise and pollution of a city. You have to drive an hour or two to observe them in their glorious incarnation.

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But even within the concrete boundaries of a major metropolitan like Toronto, the esthetic appeal of autumn is plainly evident. This morning, with the sun struggling to peek through the murky cloud cover, I set out for a walk. As I had hoped, a good many of the trees and bushes were “dressed” for the occasion, their brilliant hues stopping me in awe in my tracks.

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Since the changing of the colors is a seasonal phenomenon, it’s easy to grow complacent and blase about it. But I don’t take it for granted. Indeed, I revel in it, even as I mentally prepare myself for the bleak, knife-cold snowy onslaught that awaits us all in northern wintry climes.

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