A visual essay from Bruin Alexander

It was cold, cold and muddy. The sun tried to peek through the clouds on occasion allowing us glimpses. Southeast if you squinted, you might catch far-off rainbows dragging behind passing storms.

It was September and you could feel it, always the most distinct month in the Rockies, altitude painting the foliage first, burnt orange fields in every direction. The occasional snow, cold rain, damp frost in the morning. September here is the bridge as sometimes Fall hardly lasts a month.

I was always drawn to the last breath of summer, seasons changing, the coming of winter, this fleeting palette. Something uneasy about the landscape and the absence of bugs, the docility of wildlife, and fading sunlight.

The more time I spend outside the more I appreciate these cycles, and nowhere can you experience them as distinctly as the mountains, where they happen in a vacuum. The harshness is made visible by the rapid swings between seasons of sunlight and snow.

I try to come back as often as possible, every couple summers since I first visited this place, never is it more beautiful than September. The rust-covered valley, snow-kissed mountains and protracted sunrises. Every fall in the Tonquin reminds me of winter coming, it’s cool air the breath of summer letting go.

This story unfolded in Treaty 6 & Treaty 8 territory, the traditional lands of Tsa’tinne, Cree, Ojibway, Secwépemc, Stoney Nakoda, & Métis. 

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