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“PHOTOGRAPHS CAN’T DO JUSTICE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 27, 2014) — Every year, for approximately two weeks between the end of September and mid-October, the outdoors explodes in a stunning conflagration of color in which summer’s greens turn to red, orange, and yellow. Fascinating combinations of color can also be found within individual leaves which can only have been created by the Master Artist’s hand.
Americans are often accused of bragging that things are “bigger and better in the US”. While that boast is arguable in many cases, when it comes to autumn colour, the New World wins hands down.
In much of the northern hemisphere, leaves turn soft yellow and brown, with a splash of red here and there. But these are mere Roman candles compared to the pyrotechnics in North America. Photographs can’t do justice to the startling scarlet, gold, purple and orange that blaze across hills and sweep into valleys. Views are beautiful for the first-timer – but just as memorable the 50th time around. Best of all, this annual show is absolutely free.
The shimmering hues follow the Appalachian Mountains from eastern Canada down to North Carolina, but the must-see region is New England. What makes it special are its russet-red barns and white farmhouses, steepled churches and village greens – all photogenic props for the pageant.
A UK tourism website offers views of colorful fall foliage to entice would-be travelers to visit the “New World” at this time of year.
On September 15, a Rhode Island television station reported that the coming autumn color display was “expected to be extraordinary.” “Yankee Foliage” recommends a driving tour through Newport County, RI this fall to see “an up-close look at classic New England architecture, tightly constructed stone walls, rolling farmland, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.”
As of September 24, some areas of Vermont in Northern New England were reported to have already reached “mid-stage foliage” with “spectacular” color noted this year.
While the Farmer’s Almanac predicted peak leaf colors for mid-to-late October in New England, the state of Connecticut reports that the peak season as “mid-to-late September and [extends] through mid-to-late October.”
A website on Massachusetts fall vacations reports brilliant color in Amherst, the home of the “Five-College Consortium.” A Massachusetts tourism site recommends that leaf-peepers visit the Berkshire Mountains in the western part of the state, home to the Mohawk Trail.
On September 26, The Weather Channel reported “patchy” color throughout most of New England with peak conditions in northern Maine.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are a tourist spot each autumn reportedly for “millions of visitors” every year. A video tour of the Kancamugus Highway in the White Mountains shows splashes of brilliant red, yellow and orange color.
This weekend, temperatures will be summer-like in the 60s, 70s and 80s in New England, a phenomenon known at this time of year as “Indian Summer.”