In praise of autumn

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, October 15, 2008

Red maple leaves in Nova Scotia (photo by Ron Buckley) and a golden maple leaf in British Columbia (photo by Fred Monk) join an autumn rainbow above an Alberta field (photo by Nicole Champagne) in celebrating Canada’s grandeur.
Click for a larger version.

Our coffee companions around the world are envious of the autumn splendour of the Cochrane area, if the overwhelming response to last week’s column is any indication.

From Malawi, for example, Dr. Chris Brooks, a physician for many years here in the Bow Valley and now doing his part to alleviate HIV/AIDS in that southern Africa country, must have been feeling a bit homesick. He wrote, asking for a copy of “that splendid” autumn photo that ran with last week’s column, adding: “Out here it’s still winter, dry and rather arid.”

From Mumbai, India, Raj Patwardhan wrote: “Great photo, Warren, and a nice description of the season out there. I am aware that Canada is a country blessed with lavish natural beauty and flamboyance. It’s good to know that my son who lives in Canada is able to partake in all these.”

Two of our readers, however, sent photos to illustrate that Cochrane doesn’t have a monopoly on Canada’s autumn colours.

From retirement in Nova Scotia, former Cochrane resident Ron Buckley sent an image of radiant red “swamp” maples lining the upper drainage region of Black River.

Maples were also in the lens of photographer/priest Fred Monk, formerly pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cochrane and now serving in Bow Island, Alta. He was in Invermere, B.C., recently, where he celebrated a weathered yellow maple leaf resting on a rock.

Then there is an amazing autumn moment captured by globetrotting Cochrane coffee companion Nicole Champagne. She was driving home from out of town a week ago when a brilliant rainbow caught her attention.

When Nicole showed me her photo, it caught my attention, too, for as one looked across a fenced-off field glowing like a pot of gold, the rainbow spoke of hope for Canada’s future for all who dare to open the gate and embrace the challenge.

© 2008 Warren Harbeck

Return to Coffee With Warren home page