top of page
  • Merri-Lee M.


Updated: Oct 21, 2021

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting,

and autumn a mosaic of them all."

-Stanley Horowitz


Autumn is a wonderful time to be out and around in Ontario. In the northern parts of our province especially, the leaves are brilliant, lakes are clear and blue, and the forests are full of living things only found in this season of colour.

In early October, we made the trip from Floradale to Manitoba, by way of the Trans-Canada Highway. The views around corners and over hilltops were breathtaking. It's impossible to pull over, so this shot was taken through the car window.

On our return trip, we stopped at some of the many provincial parks situated around Lake Huron and Lake Superior. When we travel, I am always on the lookout for birds, but our avian friends were few and far between on this trip. At Kakabeka Falls,

above the falls and over the ravine, we did see families of Bald Eagles, teaching their young to hunt and fish. This juvenile Eagle landed in a treetop near the walkway over the falls, and preened for a few minutes. It still has some mottling on the head, and lacks the white tail of an adult.

Mature Bald Eagles landed across the canyon, and perched on dead trees.

The Bald Eagle "look"...

Only visible through a small window in the Cedar branches, this majestic creature was framed in shadows, spotlit by the late afternoon sun.

Back at our campsite, there were 3 Ruffed Grouse rooting around in the small trees. They stayed pretty well hidden, and this was the best I could do!


While birds were scarce, colourful leaves were spectacular and plentiful. There were Maple leaves in every shade of green, yellow, orange, brown, red...

We climbed trails and stairs to a lookout over Pancake Bay. So beautiful!

The Edmund Fitzgerald lies beneath the waters of this bay, which is surrounded by forest as far as the eye can see. How wonderful to see acres of trees, uninterrupted by hydro lines or roads (well, maybe a few roads, but they aren't visible from the Pancake Bay lookout), providing habitat for millions of creatures!

In other places, Birch leaves, yellow against the blue sky, were paired with Black Spruce.

Ripe American Mountain Ash berries were brilliant.

On the forest floor, Canadian Bunchberry blossomed.

Orange Hawkweed brightened the lichen-covered landscape on a high trail near Thunder Bay.

Sedge Grasses, Juniper Haircap Moss, and other Mosses formed dense blankets on massive rocks near the same trail.


Along the paths in the forests, there was an amazing variety of Mushrooms and Fungi. (I have tried to identify these to the best of my ability, but am open to corrections!) I didn't rearrange any of the elements in these next photos, except to remove a leaf or branch that was covering a mushroom; many of the little vignettes were works of art without any need for manipulation by a human.

Perhaps my favourite, this Amanita Mushroom (likely Fly Agaric) is a gorgeous, sunshine-bright Mushroom.

I think these next 2 are also Amanita Mushrooms.

Winter Russula

Winter Russula Mushroom with Canadian Yew and Young Sugar Maple

Possibly more Russula...

Plums and Custard Mushrooms (sounds delicious, but apparently inedible)

Possibly a type of Suillus Mushroom (considered "edible -- good, after peeling and removing slime."* Yuck. I didn't try it!)

My Seek App calls this one a "Slimy-Girdled Cort"... likely a Cortinarius of some sort.

Not sure about this one.

Violet Webcap (Cortinarius violaceus) (Who knew there were purple mushrooms??)

I like the brown softness of this Mushroom.

Mycena -- likely Bonnet Mushrooms

Scarlet Waxy Cap

Scaly Vase Chanterelle?

Another pretty mushroom without an ID!

Painted Suillus

Likely Stropharia

(Yellow-tipped?) Coral Fungus

Stump Puffballs

Honey Mushrooms

Shining Clubmoss with Hoof Fungus

Some examples of Shelf Fungi...

Turkey Tail Fungus

Resinous Polypore, a Shelf Fungus

Artist's Bracket

Likely Bone Polypore

Amazing to find all of these different forms of Fungi right beside the trails! It became something of a treasure hunt to find new shapes and colours.


We were very fortunate to have been in Northern Ontario when colours were at their absolute peak . The weather was warm for early October, and perfect for hiking along the Lake Superior Shoreline,

and through the magnificent forests.


"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."

-William Cullen Bryant


* I used "Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America" by Roger Phillips, as well as my "Seek App" to identify the mushrooms and fungi in this blog. However, I am unsure about quite a few of them! Any experts out there???


Good news -- you don't have to sign in to leave a comment on this page anymore! Type in your comment, then publish with the "Guest" option.


243 views8 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Patricia Mary
Nov 15, 2021

Fantastic photos - as usual. Are you now a mushroom and fungus expert? 😊

Fall colours are glorious. Lifts the spirits to see them. The beautiful fall days seem to pass so quickly.


Nov 05, 2021

Gorgeous photos as always :)


Nov 01, 2021

Awesome Autumn post MerriLee! The photos of the fall colours across northern Ontario to Manitoba are breathtaking. in October, when we were in Killarney, the 1000s of mushrooms and fungi of many sizes, shapes and colours provided very delightful surprises at every turn!


Oct 29, 2021

Thanks for sharing your travels with us through these incredible photos. l always enjoy your blogs!


Oct 28, 2021

What a treat to see all these gorgeous pictures. The fungi have been spectacular this year and your pictures of them are amazing. DMV

bottom of page