Seasons Change: Autumn Oranges, Greens, and Browns

2020 had proven rough, but with autumn just turning to winter, and the air still filled with summer’s warmth, I couldn’t help but feel calmed by the familiar tones of fall–and by the stillness that comes with still-settling snow.

Out for a country-side walk, later met with a stroll on 2020’s very first day of wistful snowfall, these pictures document that lovely brief moment where everything seems to pause; where stillness seeps into the skin and reminds us that the world goes to sleep and renews and sleeps again, and that’s okay.


Rural Alberta Countryside (2020)

On this fading afternoon, both my companion and I relished the snow-free October that had yet to show us a real freeze. And believe me, out here in Canada, an October without at least a little bit of snow (at least, when you’re as far up North as I live) is both welcome and unusual. The grey of they day eventually turned to rain, but at the outset, I couldn’t help but feel that some of our prairies look much like an African savannah. I told my companion this and we laughed, imagining the places we’ve always dreamed of travelling.

Strange Tree, First Snow, Edmonton, AB (2020)

What a strange reach I felt this tree had! I had to capture him, even as the snow began to fall all around. On this walk I was without a friend, and had the entire expanse of this park to my self. Acres and acres of free field and growing ice, and nothing to capture my sing-song as I freely hummed a few bars of whatever tune had caught me. You can find this tree, too, if you like. He’s just living out at Hawrelak Park.

Small-town Backyard, Alberta, Canada (2020)

I felt the tipi was quaint, but when I saw these two prowling familiars (one white, and one black) around-side, I knew I had to capture whatever snap these kitties would allow! I always feel very noticeable when taking photos that include lived-in homes (or even unassuming humans), so I snapped this one quickly and moved on so whoever was home didn’t come out shaking their fists!

Hawrelak Park, Edmonton, Alberta (2020)

What a fun surprise! I had been in my own little world, snapping away and taking in the world, thinking I was still just as alone as I had been when I arrived at the park’s entrance, when this tiny little pooched stumbled onto the scene, pausing for the most perfect moment to wait for their owner, who was still quite a ways behind! I’m still toying with getting the focus on my Canon to behave, but I do think the blurry doggie gives this image a little added something-something.

Edmonton Roadside, Alberta (2020)

If you’ve seen enough of my work, you might notice a trend: one of my absolute favourite things to capture via photograph is the manic blend of nature and industrialism. Here, nature is winning out, and if left long enough, will consume the metal poles of these forgotten signs forever! That, or the City will come around within the week and take ’em into storage. Whatever the case, I’m glad I have a record of them, here.

Imprints in the Grass, Edmonton, Alberta (2020)

I always love picnicking in a really lush bed of grass, only to get up and find that hands and feet and butts have left pressed crop-marks all around. These imprints being nearby the signs you saw above, I imagined while taking this photo that the grass was getting its first real breath of fresh air after being crushed beneath stationary machinery for two years, or so; I imagined the whorls of waves on an ocean shore, and was tempted to dive in. Ah, but my cheeks were already cold with coming frost, and my lungs were breathless with walking after so long inside, so I kept on!

Drainage Vent, Small Town Alberta, Canada (2020)

Back out to the country: the rain had started falling then, just as my companion and I were, as we do, crawling in and around where we shouldn’t be, near the trenches of a filthy little creek-shore fed by some ancient grate. We wondered what could live there, or what would wander out if we stayed after dark–and then gave ourselves the willies and high-tailed it out of there lickety-split! Glad I kept this photo-trinket from our imaginings though. Always great to keep some old writer’s inspiration around when you need it.

Sunflower Garden, Edmonton Alley, Alberta (2020)

Another wander, but a bit earlier in the season, and long before thoughts of snow. This corner holds a lot for me. I’d never walked it before, but already that morning I’d smiled and waved hello to two unhoused folk passing by, and just as my heart was full of sunflowers, we ran into each other again and laughed, all three of us, just like that. “Hello again”, the older gentleman said to me, an irresistible, toothless grin making me laugh. It’s always the times when I go out alone that the world is most magical. Sometimes, if I’m distracted, I won’t have time to see it.

Parts, Edmonton, Alberta (2020)

Sometimes I’ll see inanimate objects, and immediately they’re personified. I know there’s a word for doing so, anthropomorphize…or something. But either way as soon as I saw these guys I felt like a kid again. In fact, in a small voice, I did say “hi”. I smiled at them. I pointed out how funny they were–their teeth and zig-zag patterns. Their spiral staircase iron-bends that I kept looking back at while I walked, just for a little bit. By the time I arrived back that way, they would be covered in fine white snow and looking just as fun, though a little more composed. As if we’d both grown a little wiser during the time in between.

Thanks for joining me on this small autumn journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I did!

Published by Jessica Barratt

Writer, Photographer, Academic | Founder of JB Editing, wordsofhers.com, and thosepicturesshetook.ca

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