Colors and contrasts

Fall in Riding Mountain National Park is a time of colors and contrasts. And, I don’t mean just visual. Contrasts of scents – highbush cranberry, elk urine, fresh rainfall, or the scent of changing aspen leaves. The colors are very understated and muted. It’s the sky that adds contrast of hue and tone. I was out cycling in the backcountry today.

A fresh scat from coyotes, a mark from a wagon train wheel (a group of horse-riders returning after spending a week backcountry camping and horse-back riding), a quick moving gray jay, and a floating red-tailed hawk were some of the things I observed.

But, what I loved most was the way that the clouds were scudding by, with a shaded neutral tone covering the landscape for a while, and if you just waited a couple of minutes, it would be sparkling in sunlight. Radiant, in fact.

Riding Mountain in the fall is a time to smell, photograph, hike, walk, and enjoy a season that is full of scents that will definitely remind you that this is a season to experience. Today, I hiked off-trail, cycled, photographed, and smelled. A great Sunday!

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