Sunday, October 23, 2016

Capturing Fall Colours

I'm glad you've enjoyed the shots I've posted of fall colours, at least judging by your comments.  Thanks for your encouragement.  It really has been a beautiful fall here, though it's rapidly ending.  But I always find that 'ordinary' photos (shot with my DSLR at the standard wide-angle setting), really don't quite capture the sense of being surrounded by fall colours, nor the bright fluorescent colours themselves, that sense that the atmosphere itself is saturated with colour.  So here are some of the alternative photos I've taken trying to really capture the richness of fall colours in the valley.

This is my favourite old stone schoolhouse, the Sligo School.  I take few pictures of buildings like this, but I think it gives some sense of what the view out their windows must be like.

I've tried a number of places to use my iphone's 'panorama' function, and I do really like the results.  This is the west side of the valley from the ski club north, though it makes the slope seem a bit too distant.

This is from a hike I haven't even told you about yet, but will starting tomorrow.  Cuckoo Valley Overlook is a high point on the Bruce Trail, and this is a 180° view of the colour you see there, one of the best views in the entire valley, after Old Baldy itself.

Here are two attempts to capture the inside of the woods, the top one from our Cuckoo Valley hike, and the bottom one from behind the house across the street.  They're fairly 'short' panorama shots, so they end up not so long and thin, and look more realistic to me, capturing about the width that my eyes see.
Here's another iphone panorama, perhaps my best this year, taken from the cliffs at Old Baldy.  It captures about twice as much as a 'standard' photo, but isn't too long and thin.  It also gives you a sense of the valley itself as you look upvalley to the distant left where a shaft of sunlight penetrated the clouds.  This one was at the peak of our fall colour.

Roads through the woods seem to me another place to capture fall colours.  The above one is one of our favourite drives; the lower one is now a walk, though you could still drive a car through if you wanted.  They do give you the sense of being surrounded by colour.

Still, none of those pictures above quite capture the brilliance or the depth of the colour we get.  This Fragrant Sumach in our meadow comes close.

I don't think I've ever posted a picture of our house, but here it is.  I noticed this shot when I walked over to the neighbours to get shots in their woods.  Maybe it gives you the sense of what we enjoy here in the valley for two weeks.  Funny that perhaps the most beautiful time of the year is also so short - it's short because it's special!


  1. Fantastic shots
    Fantastic colours

    All the best Jan

  2. Great looking shots of Nature in all her finery.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. These are all amazing photos! The first one is absolutely stunning!

  4. Spectacular! It is a brief but incredible show every year!

  5. Your fall colors are gorgeous, especially around your home.

  6. It is beautiful there! Our color has come and gone for the most part :)

  7. These photos settled it for me. You live in heaven!

    I was wondering if they were the same. I have only seen the red fruit/seed, never the cup that precedes it. I found this interesting tidbit...It can be eaten cooked and also to make flour. We planted these from last years seeds and was glad to see them do so well.

    Historical Lore: Calcium oxalate crystals present in the entire plant will cause a powerful burning sensation if eaten raw. Properly drying or cooking removes this effect and the Native Americans used the root as a vegetable. There is one account stating that the Meskwaki Indians would put finely chopped root into meat they would leave for their enemies to find, principally the Sioux. The meat was flavorful and would be consumed, but, in a few hours these enemies would be in so much pain they would die! It is reported that they also used it diagnostically by dropping a seed in a cup of water and if the seed went around four times clockwise the patient would recover and if less the patient would die.
    Medical Uses: Despite its possible irritating effects there are several accounts of Native Americans using a preparation of the root on sore eyes. It was also used for cold symptoms and as a tonic. Externally it has been used for various skin infections and against pain and swelling.
    Warning: No part of the fresh plant should be taken internally.

    I was always told it was edible if cooked and it was medicinal too. I, sadly, did not write down what my Granny told me.

  8. Gorgeous. You are so lucky to live in such lovely woods.

  9. Fabulous pictures! I love that Old Baldy panorama, but they are all spectacular. :-)

  10. Beautiful, especially the panoramas!

  11. you have amazing colors!! the panorama shots are so pretty!!

  12. Lovely photos . With all the winds we have been having here the trees are becoming bare and fast . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  13. The wind seems to be ripping the leaves from the trees here as soon as they start to change!

  14. Very nice photos.

    If you use Canon cameras part of the software package in Canon Utilities is a photo stitch program that works well to stitch together two or more photos to create panoramas. I've used the program many times, it's easy to use and works well as long as you've overlapped the photos by about 25% as you take them and taken care to keep the camera reasonably level. I think the photo stitch program is a free download (at least it used to be free) so even those who don't use Canon cameras can get the program.

  15. Beautiful colors and breathtaking views.
    What a lovely home you have nestled there among the beautiful colors.

  16. That valley picture is really neat. I sure get what you mean about the camera not quite capturing what the eye and brain see. Like your house pic too.