Ottawa area residents enjoying bounty of nature's beauty
Published Friday, October 11, 2019 4:32PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 12, 2019 5:54AM EDT
Twenty-plus centimetres: that's what parts of Manitoba got hit with, as a snowstorm pummeled the prairie province. Twenty-plus degrees: that's what temperatures Ottawa was approaching as residents basked in the sun, taking in the splendor of the fall leaves.
It's hard to get a good shot of fall leaves when you're seeing it through a snow storm. Winnipeg was coated in a layer of snow, even as leaves stubbornly stuck to trees.
In Ottawa, people were enjoying 18-degree temperatures, full sun and full colour.
“It’s my favorite time of the year,” Melanie Finney said as she walked along Hog’s Back Park with her kids, “The sun is shining, it’s bright. Yeah, it’s a nice time of year.”
In Gatineau Park, the leaves didn't disappointment with their fiery reds and flashy yellows. Trying to see them at Champlain look-out, however proved to be a problem. Fencing has been erected around the perimeter. Signage says the infrastructure is at risk of collapsing and crews are working to repair it.
“It’s really nice, beautiful colors,” says Mike Feenstra, there with his wife and baby, “but it was a bit disappointing with the fence here. I guess you've got to keep people safe.”
For Nada Abdallah, visiting from Egypt, though, a little protective fencing wasn't stopping her from making memories. She stood on tippy-toes, pointing her camera over the fence to take the shot.
“For me, it’s the first time to come to Canada,” she says, with her sister Maha by her side, “It’s the first time to see these colors. It’s exquisite.”
We've had ideal conditions for these falls colors, according to the National Capital Commission’s Rachel Paquette, with warm temperatures and calm days.
“We haven't had frost or below zero temperatures,” she says, “and so the sugar gets caught in the leaf, and there's reaction that makes the orange and yellows turn into that bright red. That’s what we're seeing right now.”
If you're going to Gatineau Park this weekend, expect long lines of cars and very crowded parking lots. The NCC does offer a free shuttle bus. It's takes you directly from downtown Ottawa to several lovely spots along the way.
From the colorful hills, to the colorful Byward market.
Carole Arvisais is shopping for pumpkins with her friends, “C’est magnifique,” she says, the temperature and the atmosphere. “It makes people happy.”
Jacques Pelletier works as a vendor in the market, selling dried flowers, pumpkins and garlic, “Who’d expect this time of year, I’d still be in my sweater like this?” he says, “I enjoy it so much.”
And we need to. Just remember back to last October and that early blast of winter that didn't melt until spring.