|Potato Harvest in Pool's Island, Newfoundland. Photo: Scott Martin, October 2004|
We spend the whole month of August anticipating the inevitable demise of summer. Even though twenty-one days of September are part of the summer season, we usually give up on summer in September. Halloween decorations and yes even early signs of the Christmas season obliterate any feelings of summer. September, with its unexpectedly warm days, dopey wasps and trees still dressed in green, does not get the attention it deserves because we are too preoccupied with school and new schedules.
This is why October is such an uplifting, relaxing month. By the time October arrives, our lamenting about the end of summer is over. Crisp air accompanied by the sweet smell of decaying leaves and vegetation permeates our very being as we stroll down a leaf littered path in our great outdoors. The golden hues of autumn are everywhere during October and must be savored because at anytime a heavy frost and a brisk northeasterly could strip the landscape naked in a matter of hours.
In October we celebrate Thanksgiving which is probably one of the most relaxing holidays in our calendar year. Unlike the Christmas or Easter season the Thanksgiving season is a time to celebrate with family and friends without the hectic pressure that dominates Easter and Christmas. Schools and businesses alike spend the week before Thanksgiving collecting food items for our province's food banks. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings and at the same time help those less fortunate.
" This is why October is such an uplifting, relaxing month. By the time October arrives, our lamenting about the end of summer is over."
Newfoundland is steeped in Thanksgiving tradition. Our claim to fame is that the very first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in Newfoundland Labrador. Apparently Martin Frobisher, an English explorer had been trying to find a northern passage to the orient. He did however build a settlement in Canada. In 1578 Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland Labrador to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This event was considered to be the first Thanksgiving in North America!
Newfoundland Labrador is blessed with forests of diverse tree species, which makes for a breathtaking array of Autumn colors. Birch, aspen, and alders growing between the evergreens of spruce, fir and pine creates a palette of red gold and brown that lasts well into October month.
|Odd Pumpkin on Hodgewater Line. Photo: Scott Martin, October 2005.|
Pickle time is also a tradition that is alive and well during the month of October in Newfoundland Labrador. Beets, sweet and mustard pickles are just a few of the many bottled recipes, which occupy a space in our pantry. Berry picking, cutting wood and hunting are traditions that are still alive and well in our great province and for those who do not participate in these activities, hiking, outdoor photography, bird watching, and sightseeing are other activities that are perfect for this colorful month.
One cannot mention October without its grand finale Halloween! St.John's, being the oldest city in North America has its share of ghosts, and participating in the Great Haunted Hike with Dale Jarvis is not only an October event but an event, which one can attend in the summer as well. As tiny ghosts and goblins scurry in the cold October night air "trick or treating" gray, low clouds loom overhead. Goodbye October! Your crisp, cool wind will soon be November's snow squalls.