The final New England Foliage Report for 2016 takes a look back at the fall colors this season. Fall foliage came on strong across northern New England in a brilliant display that remained mostly consistent.
The November woods are bright and open now, with sunlight penetrating to the forest floor for the first time since spring. The remaining leaves are golden brown, and filtered through them, the sunlight still takes on a warm feel. The days are getting shorter, though, and the winds are carrying more bite. Soon, the snows that have already made a few brief appearances will become a more lasting, seemingly permanent sight.Although fall is a brief season in New England, it’s packed with intense beauty and time-honored traditions that makes it universally loved — that is, until the cleanup begins. Acorns are like a million ball bearings under the fallen foliage, all waiting to be carted to compost on the next warm day. Tourism has wound down, leaving resort towns empty and waiting for ski season. And today, scanning the radio dials, I heard holiday music. As we send out our final foliage report for the 2016 season, there are still some opportunities to see the autumn colors around New England. Tamaracks and beeches are providing punctuations of color in the northern forests, while the late maples join the oaks that are only now reaching peak in the southern portions or our region. There will even be some isolated late peak color reached on Boston Common and the Long Island Sound this weekend, giving at least one more opportunity to enjoy the best of autumn. And what an autumn it was!The fall colors came on strong across northern New England as a dominance of sunny days and cool nights provided an ideal setup for bright foliage. The forests transformed into a canopy of intense red hues on a scale that hadn’t been seen years, and locals and visitors from all over the world were left awestruck. Unfortunately, as the wave of peak moved south, a string of October storms stripped much of the early color, and cloudy weather combined with the severe drought in southern New England left those areas with a more muted show. It was still beautiful, though. Truly, the foliage show in New England rarely disappoints. And now, as with the forests around us, this blog drifts into dormancy. We thank you for following along this year from our first forecasts, and for sharing in this beautiful season with us. A special thank you to all the contributors to our foliage map, and especially to the photographers who contributed their amazing images to this report each week. We’ll see you next August!