Autumn’s Last Colors

Posted: 11th December 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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As the autumn colors make their final appearance here in the Cowichan Valley the morning frosts become more frequent.  Winter has arrived.  Each changing season reveals a different personality from the others, and there is just so much to take in as it seems to happen so quickly.  Blink and you’ll miss it all.

Farm - Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Farm – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Life seems to come at us at 100 miles per hour sometimes.  Time evaporates in what feels like a mist, leaving you wondering what you did with it all.  It’s important to remember ourselves in these frantic times as it’s all too easy to lose oneself as events unfold in front of us at breakneck speed, each one requiring and demanding time and energy.

Many of us share these sentiments these days.  I’ve found myself the last few weeks wrapped up in high level meetings and concentrating on a few new projects, and wrapping up the last details of ones finishing off.  And as such I’ve found myself out of touch a bit with family and friends, both here on the island and online.  This can be discombobulating.

Today we’re going to visit a farm here in the Cowichan Valley.  At first look this may seem to be an average farm on the island, with a home that beams character and personality that is so often evident here.  But these pictures mean so much more.

Farm - Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Farm – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

The morning I took these photographs Mrs. Toad was hard at work at her job.  Left to my own devices thoughts quickly turned to the camera and the beautiful landscapes that our recent frosts are painting for our enjoyment.  What started out as a brief visit to local landmarks soon became an all morning event.  And from that a new-found peace was discovered, and feelings I haven’t experienced for quite some time.

We can see the last vestiges of autumn as the remaining leaves on the trees try to cling on until the very last moment.  The frost sits on the roofs and as the sun begins to rise the frost dissipates in the areas kissed by the light.  It’s a struggle between the remainders of life from the spring and summer that have moved on against the creeping tendrils of winter.  Change is inevitable and unstoppable, and winter will arrive no matter how hard we all fight.

Farm - Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Farm – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

I’ve passed this farm a thousand times on our adventures, and each time I’ve driven by I’ve heard a tiny voice inside beckon me to return with the camera.  Even with the familiarity found in this place, a tiny gate just outside the property boundary was suddenly revealed to me this particular morning that takes the visitor into public parkland that adjoins this farm.  Why I hadn’t seen this before is a total mystery and I can’t help but believe that it was this very morning that I was meant to find it.

After hiking in a ways with camera gear I came to an opening with the perfect view of the vista and the farm with the gorgeous Vancouver Island mountains serving as a backdrop in the far distance.  As I concentrated on the task at hand I didn’t really notice or appreciate what I was surrounded by.  Utter peace.  A peace so peaceful it was almost heavy.  A foreign feeling and a foreign sound in today’s busy world.  But very real, nonetheless.

What started out as a plan to hop out of the car and hike in a bit to grab a few shots and then carry on turned into a moment I will forever remember.  An epiphany almost.  The deafening sound of peace that I was enveloped in soon synchronized and resonated with my spirit, leaving me with a sense of serenity.  I had almost forgotten all of this as the years of busy work and being an adult have blurred these feelings in the rush of time.

And it’s a place I seek to return to, both physically and spiritually.  The land is part of us, and we are a part of the land.  It’s these connections that bring us health, happiness and satisfaction in our daily lives.  And it’s these connections that allow us to discover a little of ourselves.

We truly appreciate your visit today, thank you so much!  Please do feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. Hey Toad, great post as usual. I love the blue sky and the colours of the trees against it.
    I feel a great empathy with your words today, just back from a stroll out with the cameras and was amazed by the peace and quiet in London.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Sometimes the best gems are the ones found right in front of us, Chris! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by today, and for leaving these terrific comments that I am sure everyone will appreciate. I know we sure did! Thanks, my good friend! 🙂

  2. avatar dragonflydreams88 says:

    . . . great thoughts for this “crazy busy” time of year . . . wishing you & yours a wonderful holiday season ahead!!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, my kind friend, we really do appreciate those wonderful thoughts! We truly wish the same for you in return!

  3. Great Post, and super processing, hope your ready for the Holidays my friend

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We’re gettin’ there, my good friend! We hope the same for you, Mike! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop on by today, and for leaving these great comments!

  4. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Oh what a wonderful post Toad. Yes this time of the year can certainly be hectic but we’re getting closer to winding down…and that’s a good thing. Sometimes just getting outside with your camera can certainly be a cure-all. Wonderful images of a beautiful place.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I completely, completely agree with you, Edith! Completely! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful visit today, that really means so much to us!

  5. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Terrific post and beautiful shots !

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, kind sir! We sure are blessed to live in such a wondrous place, that’s for sure. No end of photography opportunities, that’s for sure! Many thanks for your kind visit today!

  6. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Man, you live in some beautiful country. I need to just get off my duff and get up there for a visit!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      YES!! 😀 YOU DO! C’mon up, my fine friend, we’ll show you around and keep you entertained for far longer than your plane tickets will allow for! I cannot thank you enough for all your friendship & support, Chris, you are the best of the best my friend.

  7. avatar Jim Nix says:

    beautiful scenes Toad, well done as usual good sir!

  8. avatar Rick Louie says:

    I’m missing the fall colors already. I love being out in the open country where it’s just you and solitude. Beautiful area and well captured! Thanks for the post!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Rick. I am totally with you on your thoughts here, that’s for sure! Sometimes it surprises me after being in a busy and chaotic office all week. Many thanks for your visit good sir!!

  9. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    I can identify with your experience, Toad. Work and the holiday season have a way of consuming all my time and attention to the point that whole days and weeks slip by. The last few nights I’ve been intentional about setting aside some time to catch some photos of Christmas decorations around the house, and I’ve found it immensely renewing. I’m also making a point to visit my online friends and invest a little time in community.

    A great set here, I really like the clear blue skies and soft colors in this set. Some pretty country you have up there.

    Have a happy holiday!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Perry, your kind visit and comments here today really set off our day on just the right footing! We sure do appreciate it. Both Mrs. Toad and I send you and your family the very best holiday wishes, my good friend!

  10. avatar Diane says:

    I really enjoy the thoughtful comments you’ve made in this post, and others as well. May you and yours be blessed with the peace, joy, and love of this festive season.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Diane, your friendship and kindness means a lot to us. We truly wish you and your family and friends the very best of the season and look forward to spending more time here in the coming new year!