Calling all back-country enthusiasts! As the earth makes its annual transition, from the aw inducing yellows of autumn to the enchanting frosty branches and knee deep pow of winter, too shall we. So, pack away your hiking boots and dust off your skis because Fernie’s backcountry snowpack has officially begun!

Sometimes things happen in life that are out of our control. It can be painful, confusing, and difficult to understand. We may not be able to control the situation, but we can control how we respond to it.

Most animals have three choices to survive winter: migrate, hibernate, or cope with freezing temperatures. Many birds (and some humans) choose to migrate south to warmer places. Bears fatten up and sleep through winter in their dens. But aquatic animals have an extra challenge: freezing water. Few animals can withstand being frozen because the forming ice destroys cell membranes, so aquatic animals have “cool” adaptations.

I love the trees in the fall. Our beautiful Elk Valley has wonderful colours leaning towards the yellow of cottonwoods, aspens and poplar and the golden needles of the tamaracks.

Some of the most stunning fall colours are found in Eastern Canada and the New England states. The Laurentians with its hardwood trees turning brilliant reds and oranges mixing with the yellow and green make it a breathtaking experience. At the bottom of the Laurentians is Montreal.


October, for me, is a month of winding down. Daylight hours are dwindling - if we’re lucky we can follow nature’s cue and pare back our to-do lists. I love autumn in the garden: summer’s frenetic pace is replaced by a gentler tempo, and all that remains to do is tuck everything in for a long winter nap. With the theme of slowing down in mind, I try to strike a balance between relaxing and preparing for next year. I like to keep it simple and do just enough to set the garden up for success.

It’s fall and the Elk Valley is painted a shining golden hue. As cottonwood trees prepare for winter, they lose their green chlorophyll leaving only the yellow/orange “carotenoid” pigments behind. Just weeks ago, the dense canopy of these towering giants cast a deep shadow; a welcome respite from the summer heat.

Most people are not big fans of change. We often consider those who do not make efforts to change their lives unmotivated or lazy. In reality we often do not consider that change takes effort, our brains like  to do things involuntarily and based on previous patterns. When we try to make changes increased brain power is required thus uses more energy. Additionally, in some scenarios the need to change can make us feel like we are doing something wrong, that our way is not good enough or no longer needed. 

September is the last month of summer and the first month of autumn. Those lingering warm days in the Northern Hemisphere provide a lovely time to travel, especially since the intense heat and summer rush has passed.

They’re wrong… it’s not… don’t listen… to whom? Those glass-half-full people who have gleefully been telling you since June 21 that ‘the days are getting shorter’ and now that September has arrived, ‘summer’s over.’

Last month I was sitting at Freshies with another Fix writer writing. Some friends joined us and expressed a worry that they were interrupting us. I laughed and said, “no if you were, I would just tell you directly,” and they responded with, “can that be your next article?” The need for saying how you feel and what you want directly with kindness. It sure can!