Walktober 2020

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

It’s here!  One thing we can count on, Pandammit or not!  Walkober is what I’m talking about. Thank goodness for peeps like Robin who keep the good things happening, don’t you think?

Mother Nature decided to be most generous last weekend and I went out both days with my bestie, Julie. First time I am accompanied during Walktober and it was lovely. The result? Over 500 photos.  No, don’t worry, I won’t post them all here!  But oh… how to choose…

On Saturday we met up around 2:00 pm at the St. Bruno National Park.  There are miles of trails and there were quite a few people so we kept trying to take the paths less travelled, so to speak. We “done good”, I think.

We decided to search out some fungi, figuring there must surely be some, somewhere!  There were, indeed. Do not ask me to name a single one. I’ve zero clue.

I did not realise there are five lakes in this beautiful park.  We knew we wanted to make our way to the main one (in our minds, the only one) and tried to find a trail less populated without getting lost.  I’m assuming this lake was the main Seigneurial one! So beautiful and did not disappoint.

We found a lovely Salon de Thé that was open and were pretty sure would also have coffee, but if they didn’t, a nice hot tea would do.  They had the machinery necessary for us to each have a latte – would have been nice if it was hot and had more flavour but hey, it was something.  I do know that I would love to return post-pandemic to be able to sit for a spell.

Coffee in hand, we continued our walk.  We both wished we hadn’t missed the reds of the season. It’s amazing what one week does in terms of autumn colour.  The oranges were beautiful and we could see the yellows were truly taking over but when we saw red?  How could we not stop?  Though bright green and white also got our attention.

 

We headed back, passing by someone’s property, marvelling how people who lived in these areas were never outside to enjoy their own views.  Then again, when you have all sorts of people traipsing around your backyard, would you?  Once upon a time, those who lived here had found tranquillity. Now, they were smack-dab in the middle of a national park.  I might wait for after-hours myself, now that I think of it.

Have I lost you yet?  No?  Oh my goodness. You are all so kind.  That was day one.  Now, onto day two and the Parc National des Îles de Boucherville…

“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age; for the sake of Eden; to please the moon for all I know.”
Elizabeth Coatsworth, Personal Geography: Almost an Autobiography

This time, we decided to get an earlier start. We didn’t stay long enough for the sunset the previous day and we couldn’t get to this park by sunrise, but still.  We didn’t want the same time frame.  We should have packed ourselves a lunch but that would have required either of us to be organised and honestly? It was Sunday. We have to be organised all week, let the weekend be more relaxed, eh?

We met, this time, at around 11:00?  Five little islands with 21 km (13 or so miles) or trails form this national park, it’s also a great place for kayaking, paddle boarding, picnicking, and you can even camp there – when life is normal, that is. Again, there were quite a few people. This is when I appreciate my time working on shifts. I could visit these areas during the week. Alas, those days are over. For now.  We set off, grabbing a map of the area.  We did take it out once to make sure we were going in the right direction and according to Jules, we were (I suck at reading maps.)  It was another spectacular day of golds and oranges with a few pops of red.  We were so hoping to see some wildlife – there are deers galore, but other than a frog, ducks, geese, a snake that slithered too fast to capture, and a few caterpillars – nuthin’. Sigh. But I have to say, it was pretty cool looking at my hometown from across the river. We had a perfect view of the old Ste. Famille Church.

It’s amazing how two areas, a mere twenty-minute-drive apart, felt so very different. There were so many textures to enjoy.

As we walked along, Julie reminisced about late summers spent working on her friend’s farm. (Actually, I also went to high school with Marielle – just didn’t hang around her!)  They were expropriated some time just after we graduated from high school and are now settled up the road from my childhood house. Julie was trying to visualise where it was exactly but we could not find any “remains”.  So we kept walking until we spotted an old barn and, without having to discuss it, started towards it, through a field that has been ploughed. How weird. Of course, once we crossed the uneven terrain to arrive at the said barn, we saw there was a sort of road that we could have taken. What’s the adventure in that? And what is so intriguing about old barns?

Once we were done exploring this old barn, we followed the “road” and it led us to three more abandoned buildings. One looked like a storage shed for, I’m not sure, grain for animals? It was very low to the ground. One looked like an atelier (workshop) of some sort and the main one might have been a stall for horses – I didn’t venture inside but there was a structure that looked like it might have been a well once, right beside it.

After taking a bazillion pictures, we slowly made our way back.  We ended up at a lookout point and found that as we watched the grasses sway like waves, and the few trees in the middle, it gave us a sort of African Serengeti Steppe vibe (okay, maybe we were both weird but you be the judge!

There is a golf course on one of the islands and the only way to get there is by ferry. How cool is that?

Our feet were feeling the two days’ worth of walking and we were glad to see the parking lot.  Such great company and we are planning on making this a regular thing.

I wasn’t planning on going on and on but it’s all Robin’s fault. She said go big for this year. So I did!  Hope it wasn’t overkill. 🙂

Heck, I’m plumb tuckered out from creating this ramble, so I’ll be taking a week off starting tomorrow – completely unplugging.  Please note, if I don’t get to any comments right away, don’t think I’m dissing you, I’ll take care of them upon my return.

Walktober – St. Helen’s Island and Marie-Victorin Park

It’s October and that means it is time for Robin’s Walktober!  I had plans. Big plans. Was gonna go to St. Helen’s Island on one day (okay, that part I did, but not as much as I wanted to) and the next day was going to go to Mount Royal in Montreal (which didn’t happen because I was just too damn lazy to get up and out of the house early enough). So instead of crossing the bridge and half the island of Montreal to get to Mount Royal, Zeke and I just went to the next town over as there is a lovely area by the St. Lawrence River in the town of Longueuil, called Marie-Victorin Park, we enjoy walking along.

Actually, I am totally going to cheat here. Yep. Imma combine THREE walks, adding in Parc de la Frayère in Boucherville because I got some amazing shots that I want to share with you. And this walk did take place in October.  I do hope you don’t mind…

On October 5th, Zeke and I went to the Parc de la Frayère (which means spawning ground park) for a sunset walk. For once the stars were aligned, or rather, the sky was clear and I was able to take advantage of the golden hour followed by the sunset.

Yesss! We parked, went right to see if maybe, just maybe the heron was hanging about and he was. I did catch a little black duck but that photo is a tad dark as well.  So we turned around towards the little bridge when I spotted the moon between the trees

A half-pie slice of moon.  Crossing the bridge, we made our way towards the water’s edge and were rewarded by a woods tinged with gold.

Even Zeke took on a golden hue

The sun then put on a spectacular show and it was difficult to NOT inundate you with a bazillion pics…

Satisfied, Zeke and I climbed back into the car but I glimpsed a little marina on my return and had to stop. (Sorry, Zeke, you stay in the car for a minute or so…)

I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to share, so you get two.

October 8 was a Tuesday and the first of my two days off that week.  Into the car we went and off to St. Helen’s Island between the south shore and Montreal. There are so many things to see but we stayed within one little section.  It was a glorious day with the bluest of skies and brightest of colours all around.

Up the steps for a nice view.  I took this angle of the Tour de Lévis (built in the 1930’s, usually we have access to the steps inside bringing us to the top where we can have a spectacular view of Montreal and surroundings) but now gated shut for repairs

We walked along the lovely leaf-strewn trails (seriously? a construction cone? are there no construction-free zones in all of the province?) and then down a hill past this huge boulder. I loved how the moss draped over it.

We walked some more and whoa! I have been on this island countless times and have never ended up here. And if I did and don’t remember it then I must have been otherwise preoccupied. A little oasis in the middle of seemingly nowhere.

 

I let a friend know I was in his neighbourhood so we ended up going to his backyard to have a beer before heading home. The view from the communal backyard is lovely.

As mentioned at the start of this walk post, Wednesday was supposed to be a totally different walk but I hemmed and hawed and took my time – so much so that the idea of driving into Montreal no longer appealed to me. Plus the sky was not quite as blue so, I decided to go to another lovely park in the city of Longueuil. This is also along the St. Lawrence River so we had a chance of seeing geese, ducks or simply lovely trees.

The entrance of the park has this… thing. There are no signs and I have no clue what it is.

As I walked towards the official path, my eyes were drawn to this bright red…

And then the entrance to the park

There were a couple of ducks but the light was shite and they were far and I took ’em anyway. Thank goodness for PicMonkey to play with settings.

We walked along and I was struck the by colours… yellows, reds, sticking up out of nowhere.

We kept on walking and arrived at this easily walked into water… which Zeke, as per, did not hesitate to enter. Which is fine because I had arrived at a busy section with some sort of seagull (I think) and a heron.  While Zeke played in the water, he didn’t disturb the birds or me!

The seagull was busy fishing and every time he’d dive down to pick at a fish he’d caught, his wings would flap. I took so many photos but will not bore you with more than two 😉

And then Bob (for you, Mr. Paxson) was standing there waiting for me.  I took pictures as I got closer and closer with the intent – I know, I am mean – of hoping he would fly away and I could attempt to capture him in flight…. I got my desire.

I was pretty pleased with myself even though I felt a tad guilty.

There is a wonderful new overpass that has been rebuilt after an unfortunate accident – a dump truck with its dumper raised hit it and it smashed it.  My sons and I were on our way to the movies and never made it because we were stuck in the traffic it caused. I wrote about it here.

It is quite spectacular at night and I have promised myself to go there and cross it.  But till then, here is the view during the day.  It was built specifically for bicycles and pedestrians.  Zeke and I planned on going to  the top to see the view. Unfortunately, once we got to the second floor, the stairs were metal teeth-like things and poor Zeke tried the first four. I couldn’t let him go up so I told him to stay on the landing whilst I went up. I don’t usually get the willies but you can see through the stairs and my stomach did flip-flops. Since when am I such a wuss?

It was time to go home and the golden hour was arriving. Walking back I noticed there were crabapples and had I a sac, I would have filled it. (Thief that I am.)

I hope you enjoyed my walk and didn’t find it too long! I apologize. I got somewhat carried away.  Should you want to join in, the link is above on Robin’s name.

 

Walktober 2018

The deadline is nigh but I have made it!  October was the busiest one at the golf club I have ever experienced.  Totally nuts and I’ve the bruises and fatigue to show for it.  When there was a day I could have gone for my official Walktober Walk, I ended up doing other stuff, or the rains came or… never mind.  That’s all moot now, isn’t it, because I am here!  Thank you, Robin, for hosting this fun challenge!

Between making salsa and apple jellies, baking a ham and doing laundry, yesterday afternoon, the sun decided to shine right into my face, basically yelling at me to get off my duff and out there into the “wild”.  I had timed it to coincide with the sunset, to boot.

First, before leaving the house, I was stopped by both my dried hydrangeas and my vivid burning bush – getting close to spectacular…

Zeke was beyond excited and when I opened the trunk of the SUV, realised we were going on a REAL adventure.  Now, if only driving in a car did not make him puke…

We drove first to Marie-Victorin Park which has a decent view of Montreal and is right on the St.Lawrence River.

It is sad that I missed all the bright reds of autumn but there were little snippets of red here and there…

Zeke and I took a forbidden path – what?  It was a path obviously taken often!!  I was surprised to see a visible section of white across a bunch of birch trees.  Does the water go that high at times?  Seems rather much but, who knows?  At the end of the path we arrived at what frankly looks like a swamp.  Zeke, though tempted, refrained from jumping in the water.  He did look at me once and figured it would not be a good idea…

Making our way back the light had become particularly beautiful.  All became so soft and glowing.  I took a bunch more pics of the geese and noticed this seemingly suspended branch.  When I zoomed in, I could see a fishing hook twisted near the top… but felt this pic was more fun 😉

 

It was nearing five o’clock and sundown was at 5:53 so I decided to make my way to another park, closer to home.  I figured I’d be able to get some great shots of the sunset from there.  Back into the car and.  Traffic.  What the??  NOT an area where I was expecting any.  I wasted a good 25 minutes where it should have taken but 10.  Still.  We did make it in time to Parc La Freyère, in Boucherville.

The light was fading fast so apologies on the duck shot… I just couldn’t  seem to get a clear shot… (my story and I’m sticking to it!)

It seemed Mother Nature was NOT on my side as clouds refused to allow any spectacular sunset…

So, no sunset for me and my hands were frozen.  Back into the car for our return trip.  I decided to drive along Marie-Victorin street as it follows the river.  Oh man!  I had to stop, park in a side street and get out.  Sorry, Zeke, you’re staying in the car.  Back in a few!

I walked onto the warf for one last picture.

And called it a day.

Hope you enjoyed my Walktober walk from Longueuil to Boucherville!

Walktober – Old Boucherville, A Second Look

walktoberrobin

Robin, over at Breezes at Dawn, celebrates October with a Walktober.  Lucky for me, she decided to extend the dates so that I and a few others could join in.  I was positive I’d be able to write my post by October 25, the official deadline, but no, I have been living in my kitchen.  Got a few busy days ahead of me so I figured it’s now or never!

Here’s where I admit to being even later than planned but lucky enough to be included on this November 2nd post!!

I truly enjoy walking around, with my ever-present, dog, Zeke, my hometown of Boucherville, a suburb of Montreal with a population of a little less than 41,000.  I’ve lived here my whole life (minus about five years when I foolishly left) and have trouble believing I’d ever live anywhere else.  Well, except Tuscany, as I keep threatening my family.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

 

Most days will find me walking about Boucherville, either towards “my” river, or to “Teletubbie Park”, or to the industrial park, or to the Parc des Coutances, way over on the other side where, if I’m lucky and early enough, I run into the ladies and their dogs and can stand around chitchatting whilst the dogs chase each other.  This is an unofficial dog park to us and only when the cranky old broad comes by do we re-leash the dogs!

Last year I actually did a post on my walk in Old Boucherville and was going to choose another of my walks or a mish-mash of the ones done in October, but by the time I had sorted the pictures, I realised that Old Boucherville would win again!

This particular walk was actually on October 1st, which explains the lack of fall foliage colours!  All walks start from my front stoop…. The roses were still blooming beautifully and I just had to snap one more!

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As I turned the corner, I was struck by one single leaf in a bush that had decided to stand out.

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Walking along Industrial Boulevard, there were just a few trees showing off.

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By the end of the boulevard, I decided to walk down to the special pathway that brings me directly into Old Boucherville and was pleasantly surprised by a family of Canada Geese.

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Unfortunately, Zeke also noticed them and decided he would like to join them.  They disagreed with the idea and hightailed it down the stream!

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Before arriving at Louis-H. Lafontaine’s house (if you want to learn more about that, click here), there are lovely trees aligning the stream.  This one in particular called me.

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Couldn’t resist Zeke as he posed so prettily in the old Fort ruins.

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We decided to cross Marie-Victorin Blvd. and walk along the St. Lawrence River’s edge and were treated to a few mallards swimming by.

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I got all excited because I thought I saw an eagle!  Thanks my Facebook friends for setting me straight by pointing out it was not a majestic eagle but a huge turkey vulture!  It was teasing me by swooping around and around… I was impressed, anyway…

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A little further on, there seemed to be a party going on in which the seagull was a little shy in joining the ducks…

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Crossing back over, I noticed two lovely old houses that I had never paid attention to, and each had a plaque explaining their original inhabitants.

The first one, called La Chaumière was built around 1742, as a dependent to the Seigneurial Manor.  At the end of the 19th century, it was transformed into a summer residence and it was at the time that the “oeil de boeuf” (small round window) was created.

The Seigneurial Manor was built around 1740 for the third Seigneur (Lord), François-Pierre Boucher of Boucherville, descendants of the founder, Pierre Boucher.

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I foolishly cut across at this point, on my return home and did not get close to the grand church.  How, oh how, did I think I could do a walk in Old Boucherville, skipping a whole section?

Guess I’ll just have to go back and continue!

I hope you have enjoyed my walk around a section of Old Boucherville.