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Lessons Learned from 2011 & Mother Nature holds all the cards for fall foliage

Some fall foliage holds on as we move into November and Thanksgiving

Holding on

As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m still finding signs of fall’s impressive colors in my daily travels. The shots of fall color on this page are all taken on the 18th of Nov   and they show that some trees refuse to give up their colorful leaves.

Now that the rush to get up into Vermont and New Hampshire has passed, it’s time to look back on what worked or more importantly didn’t work for us.

Irene hits the coast of New England

Irene hits the coast

One of my photographer friends termed this fall season “The perfect storm for fall foliage”. As you know this refers back to the storm that hit New England Oct 28, 1991,  where multiple weather events came together to create a monster storm.

Linden trees turn wonderful shades of color in the fallThe same could be said of this year also. We had Hurricane Irene beating us with high winds and scooping up sea water and dumping it a hundred miles inland. If we had had a few “normal” days of rain after that then maybe it wouldn’t have been so devastating but all that salt dried and stuck the trees burning the leaves and causing them to turn brown and drop early. Then from mid Sept to the beginning of October we had highs in the 70s and a week of rain which you will know if you have read my articles, is the last thing we need at this time of year.

bushes trees turn wonderful shades of color in the fall

few leaves and berries

This stopped the color change and as the days passed we were all wondering where to go and look for some signs of color change. A few lucky souls were posting their finds on the NEPGuild FBpage and of course I posted such reports here on this foliage page. As Columbus day bore down on us the days were sunny so we weren’t getting hurt by leaf loss due to rain or wind but the temps kept the trees from turning. Then the long awaited cold snap hit with frost warnings across northern NH and VT. This hit on Columbus Day weekend and as the weekend passed the reports started flowing in of color blossoming overnight.

This didn’t help all those who had their vacations end on Monday but the lucky ones who planned for longer vacations and were here for the rest of the week saw amazing progress in the color spreading across northern and down into the mid-sections of NH, VT and ME.

Some lessons to take with you into next year

  • Lesson #1.  As soon as I make an prediction for the coming autumn foliage season then Mother nature will work extra hard to prove me wrong… Was I wrong this year?? Heck no, she just wouldn’t let me be right!!  🙂
  • Lesson #2.  Even though the fall color isn’t as we had hoped for or basically our expectations and reality don’t even come close to meeting. Look at what you did according to the articles on my site here and ask yourself did you do what you could to maximize your chances to find some fall color?
  • Lesson #3.  Did you fail to plan or plan to fail?  Taken simply if you were unhappy with what Mother Nature sent you in the way of weather, what did you do in the planning process to anticipate this?
  • A. Did you have an alternative date scheduled
  • B. Did you have other activities along your “planned” route noted.
  • C. OR! did you just go out expecting to only find great fall color and not worry about A & B since they couldn’t happen to you!
  • Lesson #4.  Did you read my article “the art of getting lost” and the article on “Finding peak fall foliage”? They out line my ideas on these subjects.
  • Sometime simple color is the best. These trees were covered in red berries which I placed against the deep blue sky for contrast

    red berries as bright red

    I have a few more lessons (as soon as I think of them) and I’ll be posting them here on the site in the next few months. I’ll be watching the weather throughout the winter, spring and summer.

    So stop back in often and make sure you visit the foliage forum to see what others are saying in there.

    I hope you’ll stop back in

    Jeff Foliage

    If you are interested in cards or prints that you see on this site, just click on an image and you can buy, share on Facebook or Twitter or even send that image as an ecard

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    Jeff Foliage

    My name is Jeff Folger,
    but people call me Jeff Foliage.
    I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
    My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
    I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
    Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

    I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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