The eastern Ontario highlands blaze with color in October, and sumptuous scarlets command center stage, all the surrounding earthier hues thrust into supporting roles by cavorting red maples and their ebullient public relations agency. The "reign of the reds" is all very well and good of course, but the oro (gold) on display here in autumn is anything but pallido (pale or light). I have a passion for carmine, claret and ruby, but it always seems to me that the golds, bronzes and russets of other tree species in my native place don't get the attention they deserve at this time of the year.
Hickories, ashes, birches and a few maples enthrall in radiant saffron as do the leaves of ginkgo trees in the village. Beech leaves are coppery coinage, and oak leaves beguile in alluring rosy bronze. Poplars and larches (or tamaracks) down by the beaver pond wear a delightful buttery gold that is all their very own. Late blooming goldenrod and tattered dandelions sway back and forth in canary colors until they go to seed and start blowing about in the wind. Everywhere, there is fine contrast from spruces, pines and cedars in the background, and blue-green evergreen fragrance fills the air.
And then there are smaller entities down there on the forest floor... Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) glows like a hundred watt bulb in the autumn woods, and one can spot it among the dead leaves and grasses under the trees as one can do at no other time of the year. This week I could see the lovely but poisonous fungus from a few hundred feet away - there it was in the shadows, dishing out frothy incandescence like a halogen lamp set on high beam.
After many days and sentences spent rhapsodizing about the luscious reds of northern hills in October, this morning is for the glorious dancing golds of the autumn panoply. Long may they delight in dazzling array.