A mere two months ago, we watched a beautiful sunset on an unseasonably warm Labor Day evening, marking the unofficial end of summer in New England. As the crickets and katydids loudly greeted the nightfall, we anticipated the shorter days and cooler nights that would kickstart the colors in one of the greatest displays of […]
By Jim Salge
Nov 05 2015
When peak colors did arrive, they were incredibly vibrant this year.Photo Credit : Jim Salge
A mere two months ago, we watched a beautiful sunset on an unseasonably warm Labor Day evening, marking the unofficial end of summer in New England. As the crickets and katydids loudly greeted the nightfall, we anticipated the shorter days and cooler nights that would kickstart the colors in one of the greatest displays of natural beauty on this planet.
Tonight, with the evening commute occurring under cover of darkness, we realize just how truly short this most beautiful season in New England is. As we conclude our weekly reports at YankeeFoliage.com, we are reminded of how we much we filled into this fleeting autumn season.
We went apple picking, to the farmers market, to the pumpkin patch and the agricultural fair. We ate apple pies and fried dough and concord grapes off the vine and butternut squash soup and drank apple cider and pumpkin lattes. We hiked on forest paths, dirt roads, up mountains, and through corn mazes, and we kicked the freshly fallen leaves whenever we could. We watched the hawks kettle, the squirrels gather mast and heard the geese fly south. We stopped at the lake just to watch the mist dance above the lake as the sun rose.
And we enjoyed the autumn colors!
For fall foliage enthusiasts, this was a year of incredible beauty at unexpected times. After one of the warmest Septembers on record in the region, the fall color was delayed, and then delayed some more. I drove up to the Canadian border the last weekend in September when leaves there should be nearing peak and found a sea of green. It was bizarre.
When the colors did finally arrive, they came on with a suddenness and intensity that was equally surprising. The reds were as vibrant and prevalent as any year that I could remember, and the oranges and yellows formed a fine supporting cast. They didn’t last long, but they were spectacular while they were here!
The way that the colors emerged this year was also incredibly unusual. Valleys before hillsides. Southern and northern New England simultaneously. And just this past week, a whole separate, second peak for the oaks two weeks after the initial flood of early maples.
There is still lingering beautiful colors to be found, especially in coastal and southern New England. Along the Long Island Sound, maples linger and the second peak for oaks is still going strong. In downtown Boston, in the Common and along the Charles, color is peaking now and is well worth a visit this weekend!
For much of the rest of New England though, it looks very much like November. The leaves are largely down, and the lingering golden leaves are fading to rusts and browns. Some will remain until the snowpack begins to build, only to be taken down by the cold winter winds. Our mindset is already again switching to the best of the next season, and the beauty and joy that it brings.
As the season draws to a close, we would like to thank all the foliage reporters and photographers who kept our team abreast of all the changing colors, and without whom these weekly reports would be impossible. We also want to thank you for following along as we shared our autumn experiences.
We will see you next August!