Over the past three days, Fall has become a full-time occupation.
What better way to spend time?
Each year is different and even an “off” year is a great experience.
This year may be the best I have ever witnessed.
My computer almost had a serious sense of humour failure. I had to persuade it to download an astonishing number of images. When I saw how many, I could barely believe it myself.
On Friday a moody sky provided a good back-drop. We went out just after noon.
Fall, I’ve decided, has some five stages.
The first hint of Fall comes in late August, with just a hint of colour in some trees. Early Fall.
By September, with occasional cool nights, there is a degree of colour in all the foliage but unless there is a serious windstorm, few leaves actually fall.
But it is noticeably: Fall
Fall will always vary according to weather and latitude, of course.
Where I live, 43N 73W, what I call Full Fall comes in October and once the trees have begun to turn, it is very much driven by the weather and even by topography.
At this stage, many trees have turned completely and some are dropping leaves but not all.
Where we are right now, in mid-October, we are edging into Late Fall.
Many trees are in stages of nakedness and some are already bare.
Some years, at this time, the ground has also turned brown. This year it is only harvested fields that are brown. Where there is grass it is still a healthy green.
These last few days, we felt an urgency to get out.
It would be a crime, living here, not to enjoy such a very special time of year.
In Late Fall skeletons of trees are visible, more noticeable next to other trees that have not yet shed.
Carpets of leaves blanket the woods and trails. You want to scuff your feet and enjoy the crunch of your footsteps, that themselves say Fall.
You look down at a myriad of shapes and colours.
You watch squirrels carrying mouthfuls of leaves to line their nests.
To be precise, of course, Fall does not end until December.
My totally un-scientific breakdown classes November and December as Last Gasp Fall.
In November a few leaves will still cling on until a Nor’easter blows them all down and coats the world with snow.
The pictures I have posted here were taken on Friday 14th October. We were out for about two hours, travelling a little south and then east into Vermont. As the miles flew by and the light changed, each scene provoked another sigh of sheer delight.
The joy in all of this is that no scene is ever the same twice. What is sunlit one moment is shaded the next.
Where one day there are leaves, the next day there aren’t, or their hue has progressed to another stage.
And these colours are deeply vibrant to the point of your not believing they are possible.
The sky is totally a participant in your experience.
It’s quite useful, if you enjoy “leaf peeping” to have a chauffeur who enters into the spirit of the adventure.
GPS ensures we don’t get lost as we meander about but my driver always seems to know where he is.
Now that I’ve got my eyes back, more or less, I could drive quite safely but I think we fit well enough into our separate roles.
We could easily be armchair leaf-peepers, since we are surrounded on all sides with great views, but there can never be too much of this good thing.