Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Short Goodbye

Last week, Frank and I drove up to the cottage for a quick overnight stay. The purpose was to retrieve a few things left over from our last visit, in the hope that we'd be back for a few more days before season's end. That didn't work out as we had wished, but we did spend a lovely few hours enjoying the sights, sounds and smells for one last time this year. Join me, will you?

We arrived to a blanket of autumn leaves. This was the view of the cottage as seen through the windshield. It had been rainy and cool, and a fire would have been nice, but the wood was too wet for that. (please click to enlarge)

We decided to go exploring along the shoreline. The lake was far more shallow than it was during the summer. Most of what you see here is usually well under water. (please click to enlarge)

This beautiful hunk of wood helped decorate the rugged shoreline. (please click to enlarge)

From the other side of the property, you can see that the boathouse ramp scarcely touches the water now, and the dock would require us to make quite a jump if we were to tie a boat to it. (please click to enlarge)

On a neighbouring property, Benny teetered on a rock and wondered why he wasn't frightening the faux loons. He figured it out eventually. (please click to enlarge)

Frank noticed a multitude of snail shells all along a small bay area. There were also hundreds of feathers to be found nearby and for long stretches of shoreline. We were thinking that it might be a popular killing area for a hawk or other predatory bird. Maybe even our eaglets which I saw for one last time when they perched on a semi-distant tree. Like last time, we didn't see the raccoons, but by morning all of the food that we left for them had been eaten. (please click to enlarge)

Since there was no longer any running water, we had to use the outdoor facilities. The leaves made for a lovely, swishy walk over to the outhouse and back. Don't bother to bring anything to read - it's rather dark in there. A couple of candles and a book of matches made for a good nightlight though. (please click to enlarge)

Be careful not to slip on a wet leaf on your way back to the cottage. (please click to enlarge)

Early the next day, we started packing up for the drive back home. A few of Frank's beloved fishing rods will help get him through trout fishing this autumn. (please click to enlarge)

The drive back home took us through heavy rain showers at times. (please click to enlarge)

The school bus up ahead of us was sure to stop at every set of railroad tracks. I liked the bright reflection of his lights on the wet road. (please click to enlarge)

It was a short visit - less than 24 hours but this past season provided many fine memories upon which we'll reflect fondly through the winter. (please click to enlarge)

Thanks for joining me! I'll have more autumn photos in just a few days.


Valerie said...

The pictures are lovely, Hilary. I especially liked the school bus, and at first I thought the hunk of wood was a relic of a boat. Shame it rained so on the return journey.

Unknown said...

What a fantastic retreat! Especially love the last photo, so artistic.

Maria said...

Autumn scenery is always very pleasant and makes for beautiful photography. Experiencing it though - it may be a little difficult I suppose!

Brian Miller said...

what wonderful pics hilary...i like the texture of the one with snails...thanks for taking us along.

Sandi McBride said...

I know that was a heartfelt sad goodbye, too. I loved the reflection on the pavement from the big yellow school bus...I loved Benny balancing on the rock mocking the mock loons...but most of all, I loved the outhouse! Thanks for taking us along. I needed a vacation.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Just gorgeous. I love Benny too :)

Unknown said...

Oh I felt like I went with you! I have always dreamed of having a cabin property!! What a wonderful place!! Sarah

Leah J. Utas said...

Ahhhh. So relaxing. Thanks for the trip. Meanwhile, very well structured photo of the outhouse.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks for sharing the mini-vacation! I loved the shot of Benny tettering on the rock.... cute.

And the rest of the photos were wonderful, as always.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful fall images. The nature within is so similar to ours, indeed the last images could have been taken by me today on my way to work. Rain, wind and all the foliage gone...
I really enjoyed all the photographs and I can almost scent the humid air and hear the rustling of the leaves when I read the text.

Lori said...

Such beautiful pictures of fall. What a nice short visit you had to such a beautiful place.

Daryl said...

Oh that was perfect, I sat here sipping coffee snugging in my leather jacket (its cold in here this morning because a co-working who dressed too warmly has a FAN going to cool her off whilst I freeze...) and loving LOVING that last photo of the tree reflecting in the lake

Suldog said...

Awwwww. A bit melancholy, but your photos, as usual, are magnificent. Odd about the snails...

Frank Baron said...

We should go back. We might have forgotten something. Wouldn't hurt to double-check.... ;)

ellen abbott said...

I like the snails and that last picture is just wonderful. No electricity? Who turns it off?

Jinksy said...

I think the tree in your last photo will soon be heading for a dip!

Tabor said...

I had to chuckle about your dog trying to intimidate the decoys. They looked real to me too!

Unknown said...

Beautiful and lovely shots !! I loved them..Unseen Rajasthan

Rosaria Williams said...

Ah, leaving the lake for another season. We live on a lake year round. We have to plan carefully how to survive long wet winters. I understand your love for the place.

Nessa said...

That is a lovely place and your pictures are wonderful.

Dona Nobis Pacem & Thursday Thirteen

Reb said...

Beautiful shot of the snails and the still reflection at the end is wonderful.

ds said...

That last shot reminds me of everything I love about lakes: white birch, crunchy leaves, the smell of pine & water. And the peace. Thank you.

Anita said...

The pictures made me feel what you must have been feeling - almost like saying good-bye to a person.
A nice photo-journal!

Maggie May said...

Beautiful photos, even the one of the beating rain on the windscreen was a good one and the photo of Benny testing the water with the swimming ducks was very good too. He looked as thought he was really contemplating whether to go in.
Strange all those shells.

Nuts in May

Bogey said...

It's always a sad sign when the boards go up over the windows for another season. But my oh my did you ever pack away a number of memory's. Just wait till the Magic Wonders of Winter show up. Oh, it did look promising for a minute there today!

Dianne said...

Benny and the Loons :)
I think I can make a tune out of that

lovely shots Hil

Susan said...

Such gorgeous photos...I'd forgotten what a sense of peace I always found here at your place. (I'm re-entering the blog world again, so I'll be sure to visit much more often!)

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, Valerie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. The rain was unpleasant but we were happy that it was reasonably mild for overnight. There was nary a shiver. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Jane. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Gaelikaa, it's not at all difficult to experience.. compared to winter. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Brian. I'm glad you joined me. :)

• Sandi, thanks so much for the very kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed the mini-vacation. And I'm glad that the outhouse was available for you when needed. ;)

• Thanks, Gary. And I'd have never guessed about Benny. ;)

• Thanks very much, Sarah. I'm glad you joined me. :)

• Thanks kindly, Leah. I'm glad you like it. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Baggie. Were you at all tempted to nudge him into the water? Yeah, me neither. ;)

• Thanks so much, Protege. I know we share very similar seasons because I can recognize so much of ours in your own lovely posts. Thanks always for the visit, my friend. :)

• Thank you, Smiles. It was indeed short.. but sweet. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Daryl. I'm glad you liked that shot. Frank had me photographing the reflection. I decided to back up and get the tree too. The image of you wearing your leather jacket in the office to combat the co-worker's fan had me laughing out loud. Passive-aggressive much? ;)

• Thank you, Suldog. Yes, it was odd to see.. along with all of the downy feathers that we found. It made for an interesting walk. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

• Frank, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go. No, wait. That's a Peter, Paul and Mary song. Anyway, just say the word and I'll be happy to join you. :)

• Thanks, Ellen. We had electricity at the cottage - just not water. They turn that off just after Canadian Thanksgiving each year.. early October. The outhouse, of course, never had electricity - hence the candles. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jinsky, let's hope not. They already lost one beauty a few years back, Hopefully it will hold on for a long time. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Tabor, he's easily duped. Last year he barked his fool head of at a cast iron statue of a boy fishing. ;) In fairness, they do look real. Especially in photos. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Unseen. Much appreciated. :)

• Lakeviewer, I quite envy your year-round lake-dwelling. I'll bet that despite the cold, there's beauty to be seen each day. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Nessa. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Reb. I'm glad you like them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, DS. I'm glad that my photos evoked some lovely images and memories for you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Anita. You're quite right about how I felt. It was more than the place.. it was also those baby raccoons which we left behind for the winter... hopefully not forever. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Maggie. Benny truly was thinking about taking a dip. I think this was the first visit to the cottage when he didn't go in for a swim. Of course it was also the shortest visit. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Bogey. Winter sure does hold its own beauty but I'm kind of hoping that it'll hold off for a while still. And you're right.. there were times today when I thought I'd see flakes. We're supposed to warm up nicely for the weekend. I hope you'll be enjoying yours. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Dianne. I'll bet you could too. :) Actually, it could even be interchangeable with Benny IS a loon. Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Welcome back, Susan and thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad to know you're back to blogging. Thanks for the visit. :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I could be very happy there. I'd even put up with the outhouse. Great place to write, I'm sure, if you can look down at the page instead of the beauty before you.

Did I tell you I have the same turquoise chairs at the lake? And a pink and a yellow one and a...

Wendy said...

I felt like I was right there with you - all the way! Thanks for taking us along. Your place looks so inviting.

Ha - laughed at the outhouse pic. Only Hilary would take a pic of an outhouse!! LOL!

Never thought of taking a pic of schoolbus lights, but they looked cool! You do find beauty in lots of good places.

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of the snail shells...such mystery and so many questions as to how they came to be gathered together.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That looks like paradise (except for the outhouse:-) ! Thanks for sharing.

SandyCarlson said...

What a great tour. I swear I could smell those leaves. I love the shot of the bus through the rainy window.

SandyCarlson said...

Just thinking what a beautiful person you are.

Cloudia said...

Such an enjoyable post!

Aloha, Blog Friend

Comfort Spiral

steviewren said...

It's nice to have good memories like these to reflect on I'm sure.

Grayquill said...

You had sun and rain, no sleet? or snow? What about wind? Nice pictures as always. Thanks for sharing..

Indrani said...

Great shots Hilary, I liked the one with snails the most.

lime said...

aaaaaaah, such a serene place. it reminds me of the weekends with my grandparents i wrote about. thanks for sharing these photos. i did feel as if i'd gone along.

thanks also for the POTW honor. :)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Is the trip too difficult to make in the winter? I suppose the lack of running water would be a huge deterrent... although I find outhouses to be a teensy bit romantic (and much better smelling when the air is cold)!

The next time I am out driving in the rain, I am going to think of you and look forward to being stopped in traffic, just to enjoy the taillights. :)

Bubbie said...

Benny!!!!!! Where was this taken? I just discovered your blog. I loved everything as well - but the outhouse was a little spooky for me!

Anonymous said...

This was a lovely trip Hilary, what a heavenly place, even with an outhouse. Beautiful clolours and such peace.

Thank you my dear girl for fixing that technical thingey-how brave of you.
XO annie

Jyoti said...

How do I enlarge the photos?


Ladyluck said...

Beautiful images...the beginning of your story reminds me of our "last chance" visits to our high Sierra lake cabin, usually just after school starts. I call it the "denial" visit because that's what I have a full case of as I lock the door for the last time, knowing I won't return until after the snow melts in late May. As fall sports and school puts the squeeze on weekends away, we usually manange "one more night" in Silver Lake.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for one last trip this year. I could smell the damp leaves and the earthy feel through your wonderful pictures. They make me yearn for the woods.

photowannabe said...

Thank you so very much for the Post of the Week award.
I'm running a bit behind and didn't see it until now.
I'm glad you liked my Pachyderm Parade.

~JarieLyn~ said...

It surprising how low the water has gotten. Our lake here in Las Vegas keeps getting more shallow each year.

I love your photos but especially the ones from inside the car when it was raining. There is just something about a wet road and the rain that makes me feel cozy.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures to honor the turning of another season.

Louise said...

Beautiful even in gloomy weather. I love all the leaves, and the one later in the pictures with the bare tree reflected in the water.

Tom Bailey said...

I like the picture of the stairs it just reminds me of a comparison of improvement how it is like a set of stairs going up and up that never ends.

Excellent photos as always.

Hilary said...

MJ, the outhouse really isn't bad.. comfy, in fact. It's a double-seater in case two of you have to go. ;) I'm sure you could get a lot of writing done at the cottage. It sounds like you like colourful chairs.. me too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Wendy, thanks so much for joining me. You helped make it a fun trip. ;) I'm glad you got a kick out of the outhouse.. it's photogenic, isn't it? Those bus lights were so vibrant in the otherwise dull day. I couldn't resist them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• GOAW, they sure caught our eye too, and evoked questions. Far more than there were answers. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Joanna, I can tell you that even the outhouse is paradise when the indoor plumbing isn't working. ;) Thanks for joining me. :)

• Sandy, you are SUCH a sweetheart. You never once fail to make me smile and feel happy to know you. Thanks always for that. :)

• Aloha, Cloudia. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Very true, Steviewren. They'll help keep us warm through the winter. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Grayquill. Yes, we did have wind. LOTS of strong wind. Then I sent him to the outhouse. ;)

• Thank you, Indrani. That seems to be the popular choice today. :)

• Lime, thanks for joining me. I loved that story about spending time with your grandparents. I'm glad my photos evoked fond memories. And you're most welcome for the POTW. :)

• KC, in winter, the in-roads are not cleared so we'd have to manage a fair distance from the car with snowshoes or cross-country skis. Plus, like you noted, there's no water (more snowshoe trips to the outhouse) and it's not winterized so the small heaters wouldn't provide enough warmth for that kind of cold. I agree about the romance aspect of outhouses.. it's the old-fashioned nature of the beast. And the fact that this one has two seats - good for hand-holding. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Bubbie, this is in southern Ontario. Thanks for stopping by. The outhouse isn't really spooky at all.. in daylight. ;)

• Thanks very kindly, Moannie.. I'm sure you'd love it there. And you're welcome - re the page thing. It scares me to find myself deep in the bowels of HTML, but you're certainly worth the effort. Thanks for visiting.:)

• Jyoti, I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you. ;)

• Thank you, Ladyluck. I know that feeling well. It truly is hard to close that door one last time. It's nice to have that last night. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you for joining me, Sue. I'm glad you enjoyed this last visit up at the cottage. And you're most welcome for the POTW.. my pleasure. :)

• JarieLyn, the lake is drained a bit each year. There's a dam at one end of it and this is standard practice each autumn. It was just the first time I'd ever seen it low like that. Thanks so much for the very kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos on the road. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandra. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Louise. I'm glad you liked the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks for the very kind words, Tom. Nice stair analogy, too. :)

Merisi said...

You captured those last melancholy walks and sights beautifully. I hope the sun's back by now!

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, Merisi. The sun has indeed made a fine appearance since this post. Partly in the form of your kind comments. Thanks for stopping by. :)

abb said...

Can't decide if my favorite shot it the outhouse or the very last photo. They're both just wonderful.

Hilary said...

Thanks, TSannie.. much appreciated. I'm glad you like them. :)