Fall, so called I guess, because leaves fall from the trees like rain, is one of the most delightful times to be in Ontario. The colours of the trees are spectacular, ranging from yellow and orange to deep crimson to purple. We drove to my sister’s cottage in southwest Ontario for Thanksgiving weekend and were so distracted by the colours on the way that we had to make a conscious effort to keep our eyes on the road whilst driving. Interestingly, as I found out only a few years ago, the orange and red pigments are present in many deciduous trees all the time but are masked in summer when they are actively photosynthesizing chlorophyl which is green, thus making the leaves look green. At this time of year, photosynthesis stops because of colder temperatures, the green is not produced and the natural pigment of the tree becomes evident. Who would have thought?
Thanksgiving in Canada, unlike American Thanksgiving, is celebrated on the second Monday in October and is akin to the Harvest Festivals held in many European countries except that the New World tradition of eating turkey, pumpkin and squash is maintained. Slightly deviating from tradition, we feasted on roasted, stuffed capon served with a bountiful harvest of vegetables from my sister’s garden, and of course a traditional pumpkin pie to follow.
The Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show which dates back to 1840 often coincides with Thanksgiving weekend. I love going to the Fair and looking at the agricultural displays with prizes for best poultry, cattle, sheep etc and the biggest/best fruit and vegetables. The biggest pumpkin this year was around 1,650 lbs. Somehow, I doubt that bigger is necessarily better but it must be fun growing them anyhow. How they manage to lift them from the field into a truck or tractor and transport them to the fair is a mystery.