Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Intimations of autumn

with 37 comments

Our time in the Canadian Rockies and vicinity lasted from August 24th to September 14th. That wasn’t late enough for any widespread fall color (as I think of grand fall color from having grown up in New York), but here and there we saw hints of bigger changes to come. The two pictures in this post are from the edge of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, on November 7th. Not only do the photographs offer intimations of autumn, but also intimations of the color of the water that draws people in large numbers to Emerald Lake.

Β© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2017 at 4:53 AM

37 Responses

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  1. Report from the Finger Lakes The hot, dry September has staved off autumn….hoping this recent turn to chilly air will trigger an explosion of color.


    October 1, 2017 at 4:55 AM

    • I hope you’re right. In a place that has traditionally been warm, like Austin, leaves of most species turn dull rather than bright colors once the cold weather comes. I’d hate to see that legacy move northward. Good luck.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2017 at 7:45 AM

  2. I’m coming to appreciate the more subtle yellows of autumn, and this is a lovely example. The branch in the first image reminds me of sumac’s color, but the shape of the leaves, and their delightful sawtoothed edges, look like coins from some faraway, fantastic kingdom.


    October 1, 2017 at 5:16 AM

    • Speaking of coins from some faraway region: we’d read in a guidebook that the Nickle Museum at the University of Calgary came into being after a man named Nickle donated his coin collection, one of the finest in Canada, to the university. We went to the museum expecting to see highlights of the collection. To our dismay, not a single coin was on display. When I asked about that, I was told that if I wanted to see anything I’d have to make a scholarly appointment. What was on display to the public at the time was a student art show with all the usual junk you’d expect from art students nowadays.

      As for today’s photographs, I obviously like the colors, even if I haven’t been able to identify the plants.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2017 at 7:54 AM

      • Having grown up with a coin collecting father, and having spent more than a little time at coin shows and his coin club, that seems surprising. All of the coin collectors I remember were constantly looking for ways to display their treasures. Maybe the University and Mr. Nickle’s family don’t have the same spirit.


        October 2, 2017 at 8:29 PM

        • No, they seem not to have the same spirit. I’ve thought about complaining to the head of the university.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 2, 2017 at 9:12 PM

  3. I love all of the colors of autumn, even the subtle ones –


    October 1, 2017 at 6:13 AM

  4. We visited Emerald Lake in 2013. We hiked all the way around it. It was well before any signs of autumn. I remember the mountainsides were heavily forested except for the few slopes where avalanches occur. Those strips were bare of any trees. It was a pleasant hike.

    Jim R

    October 1, 2017 at 7:25 AM

  5. Looks a bit like Betula pumila to me. Were you in a boggy place?


    October 1, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    • Thanks for the tip. This plant was at the edge of the lake, if that counts as boggy. I looked up Betula pumila and found pictures that look similar. In addition, the species does grow in Alberta.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2017 at 9:42 AM

  6. I love the first picture, Steve! πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful Sunday,


    October 1, 2017 at 9:39 AM

  7. Love the colours of Autumn! πŸ™‚


    October 1, 2017 at 8:55 PM

  8. […] last post showed you some signs of incipient autumn in the Canadian Rockies. Even before flying up there on August 24th, I was seeing evidence in Austin of what I call […]

  9. Hey Steve .. these images are wonderful. The colours in the first is autumn showing off πŸ˜ƒ


    October 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM

  10. […] walking around a stretch of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, on September 7th, we encountered a handsome caterpillar on […]

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