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Growing up in eastern Canada, I always looked forward to autumn with its refreshingly crisp air, earthy scents, blue, blue skies and spectacular displays of rich scarlet and orange hues, especially with the red and sugar maple trees. And, at first, when I moved out to the west coast, I missed the dramatic falls of my childhood. However, I’ve come to really appreciate the more subtle expression of this beautiful season here on Salt Spring Island.
This past October into November, while I was still dealing with a bad case of tendinitis, I had to forego using my favourite 300 mm prime lens for capturing wildlife and for creating ethereal compositions, and switch to a much lighter zoom lens. The timing turned out to be fortuitous as it was a magical month — the mist meandering like a shapeshifter, who danced over the still waters of the slack tide and softened the effect of the big leaf maples setting the evergreen forests ablaze with their saffron and gold — perfect for landscape photography.
On the first day of November, just as the sun was rising, on our way down to the south end of the island, I asked my brother, Michael, if we could stop at Booth Canal where I’d photographed a flock of Canada geese last winter. And there they were once more, “embroidered across the pastel sky”, but this time, under the full moon, whose reflection shone in the tranquil waters. It was like a scene out of a fairytale — serene and surreal — and, for me, a quintessential autumn vision from my home here in the Pacific northwest.