By one definition, autumn is "the time of full maturity or incipient decline." Second only to summer as a tourist season, it's best known and loved for the spectacular blaze of glory exhibited during Mother Nature's Art Festival. Using a palette of jewel tones on foliage canvas, her creations transform the green landscape of summer to fiery hues of fall.
In their quest to view this annual spectacle, millions of leaf peepers venture forth each year to gawk unabashedly at magnificent panoramas and minute detail. (They'll also congest our two-laned cowpaths aka 'highways') Trees bedecked and bejeweled for the 'last hurrah' to summer shimmer in the sun, their colors reflected in sanguine pools. It is, indeed, a mature display of simplistic elegance.
Before those falling leaves, shortened daylight hours, frosty nights and hints of winter chill the air, I'll end this rambling. It was necessary to occupy time while graphics & music load. (Aren't ya glad this isn't "Required Reading 101?")
In the Fall of '87 a friend moved 'up north here' from the 'southern' state of Connecticut. We took a foliage trek of our own before a weekend crowd of parade-goers flocked to enjoy Fall Foliage Festival, an annual event that entices upward of 30,000 visitors to the city of North Adams in western Massachusetts (I really hate plugging the place, but..... ;^)
We have a saying about weather in the Berkshires: if you don't like it, wait a minute, it'll change. There are only a few pix, but I hope you enjoy them. Maybe they'll entice you to join next year's leaf peepers and hawk gawkers (lots of red-tailed ones around these parts -- hawks, not peepers!).
To load faster, pics are thumbnail sized. Click on the photo for a full view.
On a clear day you can see -- from the western summit of the Mohawk Trail (Rte 2), Florida, MA -- the mountains (called hills) of Massachusetts, Vermont and (way back there) the state of New Hampshire
Depending on many factors including light, shade, temperature, even pollution, it's not uncommon to see layers of color along a stretch of roadway.
Sunset on a golden day.
What's that poem about prose being written by fools like me, but only God can make a tree?
Above, a young maple shivers in an early autumn storm. The almost deserted parking lot should have been filled with parade goers, had only nature cooperated! 1987 -- ask the city of North Adams about it -- they'll say it was the year the parade wasn't! Come to think of it, we didn't see many camera-wielding natives that day either. The cute guy clearing snow from that old Ford pickup is my husband, Richard. K-Mart, as always, remained open for business.
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updated: 17 October, 2006