Sunday, October 12, 2014

Beautiful Autumn

If you know anything about me, you know that Autumn is my favourite time of year! There is an abundance of fresh produce. The nights are cool for sleeping. The daytime temps are comfortable and you don't need to run fans to cool off! You can also do baking without being stifled by the heat.

Autumn officially arrived three weeks ago  For those of us here in the Winnipeg area, September was quite nice. Oh sure, there were a few cooler days, some rain and wind but there were also several days with temps well above seasonal. We even had a couple of days with temps around the 30C mark! Certainly not the usual but a lovely treat to enjoy the season while we still could!

The nice thing about warmer weather late in September or October is that the sun doesn't feel quite as hot as it does in the summer - and it cools off wonderfully at night!

Alas, those above seasonal temps disappeared this past week and we got our first hard frosts of the season. It had to happen eventually, but if the forecast is to believed, the temps will inch up above the seasonal norms for the next several days!

During the summer months, I have a micro fleece blanket on my bed and sometimes that was too warm (especially WITHOUT AC!). In mid September I switched that out for my down blanket which was great till the last few nights when I had to add a light throw over that. Of course most people would just close the window at that point, but I don't sleep well in a warm room or with stale air. One of these days, I will have to pull out the full down duvet, but I'm planning to hold out at least a few more days!

Even though the temps have dropped, I've yet to turn on the heat in my apartment. The buildings heat has been on for a few weeks now, but I avoid turning it on till I really have to! I'd rather warm the apartment by baking or making dinner in the oven! If I don't have the time/energy for that, I just put on a hoodie over my t-shirt. With only a few exceptions (strong winds or heavy rain), I kept my windows open day and night till October 3. My living room window had been closed for a week but was reopened on Saturday. The bedroom window still gets opened at night. Like I said, I just sleep better that way!

Warmer sweaters, heavier jackets and light gloves are slowly being pulled out. The summer clothing and sandals will be moved to the back of my closet all too soon.

I know that these Autumn days are fleeting and the ground will be covered all too soon in that other stuff. However, this is the time to get out and get things done! Time to gather in some of the supplies for the pantry that will be needed over the coming months. Time to clean up the yard and the other jobs that are easier done before the white stuff falls.

Most of all though, it is the all too short beauty of the leaves changing colours that draws me and my camera out to the tree lined streets and the scenic parks that Winnipeg is so known for!

The leaves slowly started to turn in early September. By the first day of fall, many of the leaves were well into the full range of spectacular colours - but thanks to strong winds, were also starting to drop! Even so. I was sure there would be several opportunities for long walks to enjoy the beauty!

On Monday, September 22, I walked around Osborne Village and out Wellington Crescent to Munson Park. Munson Park is one of my fave places to walk in autumn as there are several dirt packed paths that are close to the riverbank. Walking those paths can almost make me forget that I am still in the city! Though the leaves were changing, I was surprised that there were also a fair number of trees that were still rather green!

Friday, September 26 was a perfect day for an autumn walk! Temps were well above normal, a light breeze and barely a cloud in the sky! I headed out to Assiniboine Park that morning. Once crossing the foot bridge from Portage Avenue, I took a western path that meanders around the outer edge of the park before I eventually headed south and out to Roblin Blvd. The paths are well groomed - as is the entire park. Once again, it was relatively easy to forget that you were still in the city! These paths are almost all paved, but are a favourite for walkers, joggers and cyclists! The cyclists who I encountered were very respectful in announcing their presence behind me with either a bell or calling out something along the lines of "bike coming up on your right". Almost everyone said Good Morning!

There were still some trees with green leaves but the autumn colours in Assiniboine Park were absolutely gorgeous! I stopped often to take pics but more often than not stopped just to admire the view, atmosphere, tranquility and beauty of my surroundings. I took a LOT of pics!

Thursday, October 2, I took another walk down Wellington Crescent to Munson Park. Still some trees of green, but many of the autumn leaves had already fallen. The park was almost deserted and I loved the peacefulness of my surroundings!

From those three walks, I created a slideshow that I call "Beautiful Autumn". The music I selected to accompany my pics is by a talented young acoustic guitar player named Michael Sobel who is based in LA. You can listen to many of his compositions on Sound Cloud or YouTube.

Sadly. our autumn beauty has mostly faded for yet another year. It really is too short a season here in Winnipeg and Manitoba. The cool weather and frosty nights of this last week has turned most of the remaining leaves to their autumn shades, but they are also starting to shrivel up on the trees before falling to the ground. Many trees are now bare. The frost and a bit of rain has stolen most of the crunching leaves sound under your feet as you walk. All too soon the ground will be covered in white.

As I said earlier, this coming week is supposed to be above normal temps. So even if the trees are somewhat bare, we should all make an effort to get out and enjoy the weather while we can.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!