The last days of autumn at the cottage

I absolutely love this time of year.  Words are not possible to describe that perfect autumn scent of falling leaves mixed with wisps of smoke.  If only I could bottle that.

Fall colours

Early October at the lake is always awesome.  Cool nights make for early morning mist which then morphs into warm days that rejuvenate the soul.

Lake in fall, autumn
Early morning autumn mist before the sun has risen over the ridge

Who can resist kayaking, hiking or just sitting on the end of the dock with a Chai Tea Latte when it’s like this?  Those Muskoka chairs are calling my name.

lake fall autumn
Autumn lakescape

The lake beckons me each day for a paddle.  My paranoia has me concerned about the possibility of hypothermia should I fall in, but given that I’d never fallen out of a kayak before, why would I now?  The lake is calm and the kayak glides through the water.

Kokanee salmon fish fall autumn
Kokanee spawning

These Kokanee salmon are having a hard time.  The creek they normally swim up to spawn is so dry there is only a trickle of water so they’re just hanging out around the mouth of it. For those of you who thought Kokanee was only a beer, please meet its namesake.  Who names a beer after a fish?  Just kidding, I know it’s named after the Glacier.  But what happened to Sasq the Sasquatch?

kayaking lake mist autumn
Could this be the last paddle of the year?

Paddling around the lake I realize that not only are we one of the very few who still have a boat in the water but that the boat launch we normally use is locked up tight and the alternative launch has a very low water level.  This could prove challenging.

Cottage lake autumn
Why is our boat one of the few still in the water?

We’d left the boat in the lake thinking that our sons would be up for one last late summer wakeboard but that never happened and we just never got around to pulling it out.

lake fall autumn reflection
Fall’s mirror image

Like really, how can you do any work when it’s like this?  The painting and other jobs will still be there when the weather turns nasty so now is the time to make the most of it.  Only the young loon left behind by its parents after they set off on their migration was my company on the lake. Sadly, his calls were unanswered (except by me but I think I just embarrassed it or myself – not sure which).

sailboat lake
“Passing Wind”

Our lake neighbours have a sense of humour.  I don’t think this sailboat has passed any wind in quite some time though.

When the weather turns, it does so with a vengeance.

snow in October at the cottage
So then this happened
Taking the boat out of the lake in the snow

So of course we waited until it started to snow to bring the boat out of the lake.  It was a very chilly boat ride over to the launch and a bit nerve racking avoiding the logs at the bottom of the shallow water.  But we managed to get it onto the trailer and pulled up the launch and out of the lake.

When it’s like that outside, it’s so nice to retreat to the cozy warmth inside.

wood stove cottage fall
Cozy fire in autumn

Our renovations are nearly complete and the cottage is starting to feel soooooo comfortable.  Lounging by the wood stove has become a favourite past time.  We went all out and got a Blaze King wood stove with a catalytic converter which is a bit more expensive than other wood stoves.  The catalytic converter means that even the smoke generated is converted into heat.  No more getting up in the middle of the night to reload the fire box.  Now it’s only our bladders that get us up.

autumn decor cottage
Great spot to put your feet up in front of the fire

Amazing how some pumpkins and tartan pillows can transform the decor from summer to autumn.  There are squirrels both inside and outside the cottage now.  Only one of them doesn’t leave droppings.

dining room table autumn decor thanksgiving cottage
Autumn table decor – simple pumpkins and a tartan scarf

Can you believe that this table extends to seat 12 comfortably?  Came in handy for Thanksgiving dinner.  I like to rearrange the furniture based on the time of year.  In the summer, the table is positioned closer to a wall as we’re mostly eating outdoors and the sofas are positioned to take full advantage of the views.  But when the weather starts to get chilly, I reposition the seating area around the wood stove making it much cosier.

Good thing that I’m cosy inside.  Outside is looking a bit chilly.

dock cottage lake autumn fall
Snow in early October? Are you kidding me?

I may have left the kayaks out a tad late.  I think my kayaking days are done until the spring.

Juvenile eagle stopped by while I was drinking my morning coffee

Even this poor young eagle looks like he was caught by surprise by the early snowfall.  What the heck?

Pumpkin in snow
Fall is quickly turning into winter

I am sorry to see Autumn come to an early end.  It’s one of my favourite times to be at the cottage.  Now it’s time to close it up until we’re back to celebrate New Year’s, an annual family tradition.  Here’s my checklist for shutting ‘er down.  Hope you find it helpful.  You can also download this Closing Up Checklist.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

                                                                     L. M. Montgomery