By: John Woods
Every year about this time I get a little excited in anticipation of the fall and winter. Now don’t get me wrong I, do enjoy the extended daylight hours of summer, but I have always had a special place in my heart for the dazzling display of fall and winter colours. It makes me want to go exploring.
I am pretty sure this started when I was a kid. I grew up in Hamilton Ontario at the base of the Niagara Escarpment. For those of you that are not familiar with it, the Escarpment, or “Mountain” as the locals call it, is a 400 foot almost vertical rock face that divides the lower city from the upper city. I say almost vertical because most of the face of the escarpment is covered in trees. As a kid, I remember watching the autumn blaze of red and orange sweep the mountain; I was amazed at how much there was to see. We would walk along the trail that ran along “the Mountain” and drink in the beauty of nature.
Now I work in an office in Markham Ontario. Across from our building is the Lorne Clarke Young Woods. It is a small forest preserve that holds mostly maple and ash trees. As I watch these trees change colours, I know that we have maybe 4 weeks before they will be all bare, ready for the first snow fall. The maples are especially beautiful as they go from green to red and then look like they are on fire as they ignite into the brightest yellow-orange.
Now, did I mention the first snowfall? That is the first time we see the earth covered in a beautiful white veil. I also like winter and the freshness that the snow brings to the landscape. I like when you go outside on a cold clear night and it is almost as bright as day. I like that I do not have to wear mosquito repellent, and that it is quiet and clean. I do not mind the cold or the snow as much as others; there is always something to do whether that is skiing or tobogganing or just taking a walk in the woods.
I guess that is one of the best parts of living where I live. The constant march of the seasons is a wonderful thing to experience. The inspiration that I felt as a kid looking out at the Mountain has not worn off.
So, wherever you live, make sure you get out there and explore. The wonderful thing about local travel is that you never know what new colours you’re going to find in nature’s pallet. And hey, it’s all free!