“It was Indian summer, a bluebird sort of day as we call it in the north, warm and sunny, without a breath of wind; the water was sky-blue, the shores a bank of solid gold.”
-- Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1992)
* * * * *
“Swinging on delicate hinges
the Autumn leaf
almost off the stem”
-- Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
* * * * *
This is foliage month, and if you want to see the colors, NOW is the time. In the next couple of weeks the season will be winding down in the areas where we hike.
At higher elevations many trees tend to lose their leaves by the end of October, and in the lowlands there still may be limited color for a week or two into November.
How impressive have the colors been so far? We saw some lovely foliage on our 10/7-10 camping trip in the Adirondacks, like most years, although the colors weren’t quite as bright as last year, probably due to insufficient rainfall (more rain, please!)
Elsewhere the colors have often been beautiful -- a feast for the eyes and senses, as usual -- even if not as dazzling as they are some years, especially in more remote areas.
We first saw a bit of color on some mid-to-late September hikes, although at the start of October green still prevailed. But soon thereafter the foliage arrived in full force.
Right now it’s peak color time in many of the mountain areas where we hike (and past peak at higher elevations), with differences from one region to the next, as usual.
No matter how busy you may be, surely it’s worth trying to find time for some hikes during this always-memorable foliage season and thereafter.
Autumn is far from over once the leaves are down, of course. Conditions for hiking in November often remain close to ideal. And although cold snaps will become increasingly likely, December can be a great month for hiking as well.
-- Charlie Cook