Golden Fall

Two years ago around this time, I drove across four New England states searching for fall foliage. Red was the colour I was looking for. It may surprise you, we don’t have red here in Alberta, no real Maples here. We might have some red from certain trees or shrubs, but not on a large scale as in Eastern Canada.

But what we have is gold, different shades of gold. Red can make the landscape more adorable, but gold is purity. Here’s the scenery in the past two days by the Bow River in my usual birding sites:

The Bow

Trees by the Bow

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The scenes of a golden fall near the Pond, where layers of autumn foliage and evergreens make up the ripples of a boreal forest:

Golden fall

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Even the path under my feet is golden:

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I know, nothing gold can stay. Even as I type, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect. We’ll have snow overnight, and “Hazardous winter conditions are expected”.  So when this post is up on Monday, all the gold will likely be white, which makes these photos all the more precious. They could be the last of the fall memories of 2017.

But then again, if we can have winter in the fall, we can have summer in December. At least, that’s what I’m dreaming of…

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Related Posts on Ripple:

My New England Road Trip Starts Here

 

Vermont: More than Scenery

Vermont has so much to offer on top of the scenery. But I’ll start with that.

The hills are alive overlooking a breathtaking view of the distant Green Mountains. That was what attracted the von Trapp Family to settle there. Right, that’s the Family von Trapp of The Sound of Music fame. Goerg and Maria moved to Vermont in 1941 and bought a 300 acre farm near Stowe, as that location reminded them of their native Austria. There on the mountain top they started a guest lodge and had since developed into what is now an upscale resorts on 2,500 acres.

The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT, owned and operated by the eldest son of Maria and Georg von Trapp:

Trapp Family LodgeJust 36 miles west of Stowe was Lake Champlain on the edge of Burlington, a vibrant college town. The Lake is a large body of fresh water, once called the sixth of the Great Lakes. It borders the States of Vermont, New York and stretches up north to Quebec, Canada.

At the pier of Lake Champlain:

Lake ChamplainI totally get how this boat is named:

DSC_0096I took the Vermont scenic drive Rt. 100 and headed south from Stowe. My destination was Bennington in the southwest corner of the State.

Not far from Stowe I arrived at Waterbury, a town with lots of restaurant choices for such a small place. I visited two major tourist sites there.

Just off RT 100 was the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, and they sure were prepared for the hundreds of visitors on the day I was there. A well organized and informative factory tour let me see how two college buddies’ $50 investment on an online ice cream making course had come to fruition. What’s impressive is their commitment to use supplies from local farms and cows that are steroids-free. A fair trade business to ensure global responsibility. (no, I don’t get a buck for writing this.)

Product MissionIn contrast, not far from the madding crowd at Ben & Jerry’s was the serene Waterbury Reservoir. When I got there it was already past sunset. So glad I could still take these photos:

Waterbury Reservoir

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Reservoir

Continued on Vermont Rt. 100 south I came by this most interesting site in the fields outside the small town of Waitsfield, population: 1,719 (2010). Here I found The Big Picture Theater, screening The Martian:

DSC_0103Two posters at the door caught my attention:

Kickstarter FFDownton Talk

One was a “Kickstarter Film Festival”. An indie film festival in this area? I was most impressed.

Another poster was about a talk on “The Costumes of Downton Abbey”. Here’s what the poster says if you can’t see it clearly (above right):
“Jule Emerson, former Costume Designer and Theater Professor at Middlebury College will discuss the fashions worn by Lady Mary and her family in the popular PBS series Downton Abbey. Free and Open to the Public”

No place is too remote for films and the Crawleys.

Rt. 100 offered some fall scenery very different from NH. I was attracted by the clumps of trees in distant hills along the road. It was a cloudy day, so instead of seeing bright and cheery foliage, I was captivated by the moody atmosphere. Just as beautiful:

Moody

Before arriving at Bennington, I stopped by South Shaftsbury to visit Robert Frost Stone House Museum. Frost bought the stone house and its 80 acres land in 1920, moving from the White Mountains in NH to warmer Vermont mainly for “a better place to farm and especially grow apples.” Aren’t we glad that he threw in some poems as well in his time-off from apple-picking.

In this fertile soil Frost not only gathered apples but poetic harvests as well. In the Stone House, there’s a “Stopping by Woods” Room where the Poet wrote his most famous “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” A facsimile of the handwritten manuscript and many other pertinent materials – parody included – were displayed. Trust my words. I didn’t want to get caught taking pictures in a ‘Photography Forbidden’ premises.

I did take photos outside of Frost’s Stone House:

Frost's Stone Houseand his juicy legacy, the apple tree in front of the house:

DSC_0205From Shaftsbury I drove the few blocks to Bennington, There at the back of the First Congregational Church was the cemetery where Robert Frost was buried.

Yes, the sky was that blue that day:

DSC_0270Frost’s grave gathered no pens or pencils as I saw in Authors Ridge of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord ; instead, people have left pennies there. If they were meant to be tributes to the Poet, it’s simply mind boggling to see how people could think a penny would suffice. Allow me to offer a little alteration to a common saying, standing in front of Frost’s grave: If you don’t have anything poetic to leave there, don’t leave anything.

DSC_0251Coming up: my last stop, Lenox, MA.

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Finally, Fall Foliage

This was a fall foliage road trip after all, albeit I must say I’d thoroughly enjoyed the coastal scenery in Maine.

New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest offered some magnificent sights. Last heard, there’s snow in NH and Vermont. So I’m all thankful for even getting a glimpse of maybe just 40% of fall foliage before the white stuff cometh.

The trees were lovely at the White Mountain National Forest Visitors Center:

WMNF Visitors CenterThere, I learned that a portion of the Appalachian Trail passed nearby. I told myself, I must experience that.

Appalachian TrailI stepped onto the path of the relatively difficult trail (for me anyway), just to have a taste and to see how challenging it was. To make a short story even shorter, I only stayed for a little while. Here’s a view looking upward while there:

Looking UpwardI’d asked for recommendation for an easy walk to a scenic point and was given instructions to the 64 ft. drop of the Glen Ellis Falls at Pinkham Notch; now that’s much better. I’ll leave the Appalachian Trail to the adventurous, like Redford and Nolte:

Glen Ellis Falls

To continue on westward to Vermont, I’d read that I must take the Kancamagus Highway for the magnificent views. And so I did. Driving the 34 miles on the scenic route from Conway to Lincoln, NH, is one of the highlights of my trip. Here are some views of the foliage along The Kanc, as the locals call it.

Kancamagus Hwy

The KancCar-stopping view:

Car stopping viewsOnward to Vermont, some picturesque country roads as well:

Scenic Dr

More about Vermont to be continued…

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Orange is the Primary Colour

Driving from coastal Maine westward to New Hampshire, the foliage colours began to change a bit more. Even though I was totally enjoying myself along the coast, I did look forward to seeing some fall foliage as I moved inland.

I drove from Rockport to Maine’s capital Augusta, then continued on some small country roads towards Bethel and Gilead before crossing the State line to Gorham, New Hampshire. It was a pleasure driving through these more remote parts of the country, for the routes offer some gratifying scenery:

Driving thru MaineCountry road in MaineBut it was the colour orange on the ground that caught my eyes. From afar, they were tiny orange dots in the field:

Tiny orange dots on the groundA bit closer I knew, of course, that was a pumpkin patch. And it was orange that would be the predominant colour everywhere, in towns and in the country.

On flatbeds and wagons:

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Or laid out neatly in arrays on grass:

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In various shapes and forms:

DSC_0508At door fronts, entrances, in hanging baskets and shop windows:

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Or in the form of pumpkin people:

DSC_0552DSC_0784Or as pumpkin elves like these two sitting outside Elf Academy:

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No wonder there’s a shortage of pumpkins in the U.S. as the demand is so high. With recent crops diminished by record rain, there arose a pumpkin shortage. Help is on the way though. Here’s a recent headline on CBC News Business section:

“Canadian pumpkin patches poised to fix U.S. lack-o’-lanterns problem.”

What are neighbors for?

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This is my Saturday Snapshot October 17 entry. Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.

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Fall on the B.C. Coast

Took a short trip out to the west coast last week. These pictures were all taken on October 30 in Victoria and Vancouver, still lush and colorful.

Fall’s foliage by the sea, composing nature’s own collage:

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Or, was it Jackson Pollock leaving his mark?

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There must be some lessons for us to learn from theses Canadian geese, in organization and leadership… and integrity too: They walk as they fly.

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And in Vancouver, the beauty of fall’s foliage is best seen where they are, fallen, on the pavement, in the gutter, on the bench.

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Came back home a few days ago, just in time to greet the first snow of the season. What a difference an hour’s plane ride can make!

All photos above taken by Arti of Ripple Effects https://rippleeffects.wordpress.com, October 2008. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT COPY.