FARATS, the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown, is hitting a critical time. The picture you see above is not The King, but it is one of his near neighbours.
As you can see, The King is strong in comparison. What is that almost naked tree? A jester? His Queen? Who knows? Thanks to a windy Fall in most of North America, getting that great shot of a super tree has been challenging (I stole this observation from Cafiend of Citizen Rider). Even The King was hard to get a good picture of, and I was visiting every couple of days. Yesterday it was clear that The King had passed his peak of foliage related glory for this season. Something funky happened to my camera memory and I have no pics, but trust me, he's on his way down for this year. Thank goodness I caught him on what I consider his best day about a week ago.
Brace yourselves, because what follows is my official FARATS entry:
Think you can beat it? To be honest, The King looks good, but I strongly suspect that someone will topple him. In a way, that's good, because I've laid hands on the prize for the winner!
I won't lie... when I located the prize I also bought some for myself. I have tasted it and it is everything I had hoped. Jakeman's has been voted best tasting maple syrup in Canada in recent years and always places in the top ranks of most maple syrup ranker's rankings. So, the prize is a small amount (100 mL, 3.4 fl. oz.) of pure Canada #1 Extra Light maple syrup (click here to see how freaky I am about it) from one of Canada's top producers, located only about 30 minutes from my home of London Ontario.
Don't let the tiny plastic jug (rather than decorative glass) fool you... one thing I have learned about syrup is that light affects it somehow. I forget how, but it does. So there. I purchased this prize right at Jakeman's retail store, amidst (or is it among?) some of the very trees that offered up this divine elixir. I am happy to say that in all the vast variety of tinned, bottled, jarred, candied, ice-wined and other maple-ized products, this was the ONLY one that said "Our very finest" on it. Done deal. I don't like to use crude language on this blog, but I'm sorry, this stuff is the shit.
Tell me, do you want some? Send your best tree picture to rantwick at gmail dawt com (if you don't know what I mean there, you are too stupid to enter my contest no matter how great your tree is) or link to it in the comments on any of my posts. One or just a few trees only in your picture please, since I can't have a whole forest ganging up on The King. Deadline is Dec 15. I'm gonna post pics of entries as they come in, but on Dec 16 a page will go up with all entrants and a way of voting for your favourite. After a voting period ending early in 2011, the winner will receive the aforementioned maple-y awesomeness.
R A N T W I C K
PS - Some nice people I know have expressed an interest in sending me pictures of trees that are not official entries for the contest. Bring 'em on! Got an awesome mountainside of foliage madness? I'll post them with pleasure; just not in the official vote for trees post on Dec 16. Knowing this, it would be wise to be very clear that your official entry is indeed your official entry in your email or comment.