Fall Color is Finally Here!

I’ve always wanted to do a fall foliage photo shoot on the East Coast, but I’ve had conflicts for the past few years. Well, this year was going to be different. I left my calendar wide open and vowed to do a trip to New England. All I had to do was plan it. And that’s always the hard part.

It seems that Mother Nature is a bit unpredictable when it comes to fall color. Depending on the weather and some science we don’t fully understand, the leaves will change when they’re ready to change – and you never know exactly when that will be.

So I decided to be flexible. I would go on a trip lasting about three and a half weeks, timing my arrival on the East Coast for the typical year’s peak color to start showing in the northern-most areas. And rather than commit myself by making reservations for accommodations, I would simply camp in state parks and the like, wherever the color was reported to be best at any given time. I would then start heading back to Seattle around Columbus Day, when most campgrounds close for the season.

Maine Stream, Byron, Maine

A stream flows between the colors of fall, near Byron, Maine.

Well, I didn’t expect the color to show up two weeks late this year. Even with all of the built-in flexibility in my schedule, I still had to start heading back before most areas in New England hit their peak performance. But I did manage to find a few areas that had enough color to work with. And because I had picked out a whole assortment of places to visit along the way, I had lots of interesting things to do besides wait for the color to appear. I’ll talk about those in future weeks.

In the end, I did catch a glimpse of what most were calling “Moderate” (31% – 60% change) to “High” (61% – 80% change) color, the stages right before “Peak”.

Coos Canyon on the Swift River, Byron, Maine

The Swift River cuts through Coos Canyon in late afternoon, near Byron, Maine.

I had in my head (as I always do before these trips) different types of shots I wanted to find, and I managed to find a few interesting scenes that included some fall color. The challenge was that the color never seemed to be happening next to a pretty steepled church or covered bridge or little pond, but always up in the mountainsides where it was cooler. It was nice to look at, but it wasn’t exactly what I thought would make compelling images.

Silver Cascade in Autumn, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Beautiful fall foliage surrounds the Silver Cascade just above the Saco River, near Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.

To get these images you see here, I drove and drove and drove around New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. In all those miles, I saw a lot of pretty green trees and nice, pastoral scenes, but I was on a mission to find color, so I kept going, and did the best I could with what I could find. And yes, I’m happy with these few images, but I know I could find many times more than this under the right conditions.

Wonalancet Union Chapel, Wonalancet, New Hampshire

The Wonalancet Union Chapel is surrounded by fall foliage, in Wonalancet, New Hampshire.

So, if you know me, you know what this means. Yep, I’m already planning the next trip to New England! Hey, like that guy on CNN says, somebody’s gotta do it!

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3 Responses to “Fall Color is Finally Here!”

  1. Sue-Z says:

    Beautiful images. Looks like a successful trip!

  2. Carmen says:

    Hey, Ed! What a great trip, and it sounds like you became a fall foliage expert in the process. Fun!

  3. Dennis says:

    Ed, you nailed the fall colors! Thanks for the post!