I’d seen maple trees and other autumn colours in Australia – dotted here and there, or lining a street. I had seen photos of parks and forests full of colour. I knew they were beautiful. I saw the leaves starting to change colour in Nova Scotia just a week before I arrived in Quebec. But nothing – nothing – prepared me for the breathtaking sight of miles and miles of autumn colours stretching as far as the eye could see.
I spent three weeks touring Quebec’s Eastern Townships in October, 2015. My friends told me the autumn colours were the best that year that they had been in a long time. Not only do I believe them, I like to believe that nature was smiling on my visit.
This scenery is typical of southern Quebec: cornfields or farms, forests, and hills or mountains in the distance. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Also typical of this part of Quebec is the lakes that nestle in between the rolling hills.
Lake Memphremagog is one of my favourites. The serenity in this place is palpable.
Lac Brome is gorgeous, too. We took the Lakeside Drive through Bondville – the road wasn’t so great, but the scenery was magnificent.
This sign in the town of Magog was a source of great amusement for me. I had to consult Google maps to see why someone would name a lake after a pair of pants.
Mind you, any province that will name a place ‘Low’ or ‘Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!’ has to have a good sense of humour about these things.
Everywhere we went, it was beautiful, even on the days full of misty rain and low cloud. Okay, so I like that stuff, but it did add a sense of surreal beauty to the forests and country roads.
It’s fair to say that in those three weeks I saw a little of every season. Some days were clear and sunny; others, grey and damp. And twice! it snowed, just for me.
We were out for lunch at Ormstown when it started snowing the second time. The church across the road instantly looked like something off a Christmas card. Gardens were gently covered with a light dusting of snow, and I was thrilled. My friends, who are locals, were less so.
As we drove home, the snow continued to fall gently until the sun broke through the clouds and shone again. Everything looked so pretty.
Is it any wonder I love this place?