You may disagree, but in my humble opinion the month of September is a special time to be at the cabin, and stands alone ahead of all the rest.
Though the biting bugs begin their retreat in the middle of August, it isn’t until September that the insects have all but finished their assault, making the time spent outdoors much more comfortable.
Enjoying an evening campfire under the brilliant star-filled fall sky without the constant drone of mosquitoes is an unusual treat.
September is also the perfect time to enjoy the trails that wind their way through the bush. As the forest begins its descent into hibernation the ferns and other ground-level plants die off making the woods much easier to navigate.
The absence of ticks, no-see-ums, black flies and mosquitoes also makes hiking a more pleasant experience.
At this time of the year Mother Nature briefly treats the lingering cottagers to a moment of perfection. As aspen and oak trees begin to paint the woods a beautiful background of yellow, orange, and brown, the northern forests become a paradise for photographers and painters.
This image of serenity doesn’t last long.
In a few short weeks, the landscape will plunge into the depths of the harsh winter of the Canadian North.
While the temperature swings can be volatile, September brings many days of cool, sunny weather that make cottage maintenance and repairs less arduous. Staining the cabin and painting the windows are ideal September projects.
When the work is done, September is a great time to explore the lake. As the fishing improves after the slow month of August, it is a perfect opportunity to discover remote spots in previously unexplored bays.
Take the time to go ashore and walk around the surrounding Crown Land, comb the high water mark for lost lures, and poke around the edge of the woods for old antler sheds or the remnants of an abandoned cabin.
Wildlife activity also picks up in the fall.
Migratory birds constantly pass overhead and some are kind enough to drop-in for a brief visit before continuing on their journey.
Deer emerge from the woods displaying new antlers and a change of colour that signals the impending arrival of winter.
Bears arrive looking to fatten-up on the acorns of shoreline oak trees.
Yes, September is certainly a sweet time to be at the lake.
Special Note: In most areas, hunting season begins in September. Take extra care and the proper precautions when hiking through areas where hunters may be present.
Written and photographed by: Andrew Walker