Home » Photography » Once Upon a November Dreary…

Once Upon a November Dreary…

What is it about November in the northern hemisphere above the, say, the 35th parallel north, that is so drab and dreary?

Just a touch of colour

Tell you what. The trees are bare, the snow is not yet arrived to brighten up the place (or what little of it there may be is little and dirty), it rains, we set back the clock an hour (coz we all love to have it dark at 4:00 pm)… need I say more?  My grandmother used to get so depressed during this month because there was nothing and no visitors found the need to visit “up north” as we used to call the two-hour drive to her place. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Then the next holiday is Christmas. So, November? Blahsville.

Today was the perfect day to represent the November of which I speak. I drove my mother and her partner up to Hawkesbury to meet with my aunt who would take them the rest of the way. It was drizzling and grey all the way until we hit the Ontario border. The sun was trying desperately to burn through the grey and finally did kinda-sorta peep through, almost necessitating the slipping on of the shades. Almost.

After a teen burger at A&W, I said goodbye to the folks.  I stopped to gas up, picked up the worst coffee in the world and made my way back home. Not smart to leave there after 2:00 pm as it meant I would arrive back in the Montreal area after 3:00 pm, or primetime traffic hour.

I swear, as soon as I crossed the border back into Quebec, the grey came back and the drizzle started up again. Really? Mother Nature pissed of at this part of Quebec, or something?

No matter. I was smart enough to take another way home, thereby avoiding the city completely. Why I hadn’t thought of it on my way up is beyond me.  Mind you, traffic was endurable so…

As I was about twenty minutes from home, I could see across the highway to the Saint Lawrence River and the monotone colour made me think of this here post. So I took an exit that I thought would bring me one place but did not.  It did, however, bring me to another spot that was perfect.  I parked the car and made my way across an apartment building’s yard to the water’s edge and snapped a few pics.

How nice that as I was snapping these pictures, the drizzle turned to a light snow. Maybe November isn’t all that bad…


96 thoughts on “Once Upon a November Dreary…

  1. Yeah! who do they think there foolin’ with this turning the clock back stuff. I didn’t change anything. The day’s not longer or shorter, all that happens is 5 o’clock turns into 4 o’clock and then it’s dark! It’s like setting your alarm clock ahead 20 minutes so you can fool yourself into thinking you’ll get a few extra minutes of sleep, SHEESH! Hey wait a minute, did you say A&W? The only one we have around here is seasonal and it’s not season anymore. I love A&W! Did you get a rootbeer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t get me started… I love the meme with an Indian (sorry American Native or Aboriginal) stating, “only a white man would think of cutting off two inches from the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom and think he has a bigger blanket”.
      And YES! I had a rootbeer. Only time I ever do…😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Monochromatic they might be. but they are beautiful photos. Though I do hear what you’re saying about Novemember greyness. Here in UK we might yet be holding onto our flambouyant colours, but the weather is doing its best to be grey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Dale,

    Quebec doesn’t sound all that different from Missouri in November. At least your photos bring brightness to my morning. Lovely as always with your eye for composition.

    Shalom and lotsa warm hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your description reminded me of Cincinnati – but not just in November – but November into mid-March. So much gray and brown. It doesn’t snow often, and when it does, it doesn’t stick around long. The drab and the cold gets to my wife more than I, but I see her point. Nonetheless, yes – a wonderful time for monochromatic photos – and you did well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, I agree about November (well, I did discuss it recently) 🙂
    But you did get some great shots.
    I’m reading a Louise Penny novel–her latest I think–which takes place in April in Montreal and surrounding areas, but it still makes me cold reading about all the ice. I guess though in April, at least you can look forward to the days getting brighter and warmer, while in November, they are just getting darker and colder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November is a toughie. My grandmother used to get so depressed…
      April can blow in Montreal, too. Or not. My birthday is right in the middle and there have been years where I wore a sundress and others, a snowsuit!
      Yep… darker and colder and ever more dreary!

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  6. WHAT? Rushhour at 3pm in Montreal area? You should be so lucky; no wonder you begin the day in night-mode and end it in night-mode. It was the same in the UK but I now realise that when I return home at 5pm I have about 10-15′ time to feed the birds – after that I can’t find the various feeding posts any more. And that’s in France. In Switzerland it’s much the same, but at least we have till 5pm. UK sundown was around 4pm and I lived in an eternal half-winter for months on end. – Apart from that WE have to make sure we’ve the sunshine at least in our hearts if not at the horizon. You were right to make a stopover and indulge in nature’s beauty. Lakes & water are ALWAYS my winners too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, there seems to be no longer an official rush hour like before. Now, pretty much any time of day in any direction can be a headache.
      Yes, I could not help myself. I guess at heart I am a photographer as well as a writer 😉

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  7. Thank you for taking us along for the ride (well, minus the worst coffee in the world … THAT one cannot abide, unless one is … well … in the middle of a road trip with few options and a sky threatening to spit and traffic planning on congesting …) 😉
    Love that you took the side roads for this here post.
    Love the photos.
    (and … I was tickled pink to see the ‘goodreads’ icon of the current ‘in progress’ … 😉 What can I do, I’m partial to that title .. ;))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most welcome and thank you for joining. Honestly, had I known, I’da crossed the street and had me a Tim Horton’s – coffee I don’t love but don’t totally hate, either.
      Yes, I think my inner photographer took over so I am glad you enjoyed the photos.
      And yes, that icon has been there for a couple of weeks (I used to read so fast, now I read for a few minutes before bed… sigh…)

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  8. We hate day light saving here too. My eldest moans like mad about going out in the dark and returning home in the dark, he hates that it’s too dark to go out on his bike up on to the Downs, ( a missnoma for comon land with steep winding narrow roads and tracks on the Sussex Coast) he lives in Brighton. It’s cold and damp and , foggy and frosty here and it can only get worse! But your photos made my day 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, Dale, those shots are so beautiful!!!!! I like to say that one can find beauty anywhere but you are obviously at an advantage! 🙂 Our trees still have yellwish/red leaves just about clinging on but I know the season you’re referring to. On DST, I actually don’t mind the getting darker, as long as we get our stolen hour back! 😉 The change that really gets me, badly too, is in March when they steal the hour again. All through the 6 months I feel deprived of an hour… really!!! 😉
    …but back to your shots …superb!!!! xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve no doubt. And let’s face it, southern Ontario is still above the 40th meridian 😉 Though you have it way milder than we do, in general…
      Thanks for joining me!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ‘Blah’ is one of Alberta’s middle names in November. Except for today. Yesterday it snowed all day – about 15cm of light fluffy stuff. Today, the sun is shining and the trees are decked out in sparkling white. It’s really quite lovely. But the sun will melt the snow and a breeze will shake the dresses off the trees and by dinner time the classic brown will be back. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice November shots…
    True, I love it when night sets in at 4:00 pm, NOT!
    I really like the grassy plant with ice crystals.
    It’s totally grey and dreary here, but the ice has melted from the alleys, it’s just above 0 and wind only gusting to 9km. so I’m off to find some art. Have a fab day, Thunder!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Q,

    I hate ice, even if I’m holed up inside for the day with soup and crusty bread and a couple beverages of choice. Because while ice on the road is dangerous and ice on my run is equally so, ice on the roof is a deductible. So no, across the board no, to ice.

    The dreary sucks, sometimes. And yet, at other times it’s almost as if the dreary is simply a monochrome template through which you can spot wonderful captures, as you did. It’s almost like the iconic red coat scene in Schindler’s List, where certain pieces of humanity crop up as if to say “Still here”.

    All in all, gimme snow. A little or a lot, doesn’t matter. Okay, not lots and lots, because that might result in a deductible as well.

    Lovely wintery thoughts.


    Liked by 2 people

    • B,

      I am not a fan, either (remember our ice storm of 1998?) And, last night, after doing schtuff in the house, I decided to take Zeke on a walk past my old house. I do NOT miss my old street. I right near broke my neck trying to walk on the icy street. Benefits to living on a boulevard is that it is cleaned properly…

      The dreary can suck except for us photographers, who revel in the moody 😉 I have yet to learn how to manipulate one piece to give it colour so ’til then, I shall just have to find that one colourful bit.

      I am with you all the way. I will take mountains of snow over rain in the winter. It makes all so much brighter and just a little less dreary.

      Thank you, mein freund,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Ice storms are the worst! They’re dangerous, they’re destructive and they prevent you from venturing out into the winter wonderland for fear that you’ll break your neck!

        Oh, but you do it without trying. Sometimes your camera will hit on something so expertly that I actually feel as if I see the color even when its monochromatic or in this case, dreary.

        And the crunch of snow is preferable to the crunch of my ass hitting the pavement when a patch of ice takes me down.

        You’re wilkum!

        Liked by 1 person

        • They are. That one was a doozy. It was something like out of a horror movie. Three weeks without power, 8 months pregnant… oy.

          That is the such a cool thing to say.

          Absolutely. I love the crunch of snow. And that smack of the ass is the least of it. How about the twist of the back as you manage to stay on your two feet? That smarts something fierce.



          • Three weeks . . . no gracias. No gracias at all! My God, I cannot imagine. Three HOURS without power sucks!


            I love running on the snow, but I run on the snow that lays on the grass just in case I slip, since it’s a much softer landing on grass than on the sidewalk, yanno? And no . . no messing with the knees or the back. Father time does a good enough job of that without any help.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It was hell, lemme tell you. A frozen hell. Well, it coulda been exceptin’ my sister went only 24 hours without so we packed up our belongings and camped out there for the duration… and had a blast and ate like kings because we had just bought a 1/4 cow and 1/2 and our freezer was full. My brother-in-law said any time we were stuck to come on by…

            Now you’re the sweet one.

            Absolutely. Were I to take up running (not ever gonna happen), I would definitely choose run on the snow-covered grass over the sidewalk. Doesn’t he at that…

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          • And now we know the REST of the story, buahahahaha! Hells . . it sounds like the power outage was a really good thing for y’all! Just imagine what your sister’s place would be like in the zombie apocalypse. You’d be set!

            Yes . . yes I was. LOL

            Even just walking in the snow. That crunch PLUS the physical exertion. Lots of good stuff happens when the white stuff arrives. And since I no longer shovel, it’s all good!

            Liked by 1 person

          • LOL! ONLY if I had me a freezer-full of meats like that time… which I no longer do. All’s I gots is 8 big-ass chickens…

            And still can be 😉

            Absolutely. Why just the other day I chose to walk on the yet-uncleared sidewalk to up my cardio. I still have to shovel – but just the walkway. Though occasionally, if I ask real nice, the boys do it…

            Liked by 1 person

          • 8 big ass chickens is good. It ain’t half a cow, but it’s still good.


            I pull my “Men my age shouldn’t be shoveling snow, it’s actually dangerous for us to do so,” card.

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  13. Whoa…beautiful images from the detour route. Yeah, November IS the brown month down here too. Picking up after the dogs is an adventure in a sea of brown leaves. I don’t dare take them too late in the afternoon without a lamp to find the little nuggets.

    I think the dictionary refers to November as: dull, dreary, humdrum, boring and just plain blah. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely photos. I love this time of year for the quiet nature gives us, and the bareness, like it’s asking us to love it in its truest form. Note to self: Montreal traffic gets nutty around 3, just like here. I’ll keep that in mind for the future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yep, I got to experience some of that November gray in Oregon this past week. But they do still have a lot of color under it all. I’ll be glad to get home to Colorado tomorrow. I wonder why so many bloggers I follow live in Canada? Any thoughts?

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