New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Late versus early fall color, does it matter?

Late versus early fall color, my thoughts…

Hello Leaf Peepers! I drove to northern Vermont this past weekend and I was amazed by the amount of fall colors in the trees and I’m not just talking at the shore, or even northern Massachusetts… I’m talking all the way up to the Hookset tolls on I-93! Now I would provide a picture of the multi-hued hills covered in orange, brown, gold and red.. Yes RED! You didn’t know that red oaks turn a beautiful shade of red did you?

But alas I was driving and we were a bit late getting out the door (my fault) so no picture of the hills… How about I show you what you could find about 6.5 miles from the Canadian Border in Highgate Center.

Highgate Vermont fall colors

Highgate Vermont – 6 November

Yes this was November 6th and not 5 October!

Early color versus late fall colors

Salem fall foliage in New England

late fall colors

Most times you will here me talking about arriving 25 September or early October because everybody wants the whole hillsides covered in really bright colors. Well I have to say this is my fault because I also love those bright colors but I tend to forget the very satisfying burnt umber, sienna and ochre fall colors (basically red brown, orange brown and a golden brown mixtures)

All of which remind me most of fall when I was a kid. Making Thanksgiving turkey drawings by tracing my hand and other crafts in grade school. For extra points leave a comment about a craft you did in school for autumn, no matter what part of the world you grew up in. It’s with mixed emotion that we remember these colors as this is when the fall colors are on the way out and not just arriving.

What does your neighborhood look like?

The maples in my neighborhood are a mixture of sugar maples and some Norway maples but due to many different factors they were really not as pleasing as most years in the past. This year it was the drought and they have been suffering.

I, along with most others wax poetic about the early colors of the swamp maples turning red and we start salivating at the thought of the first drive up into New Hampshire or Vermont. We want to drive along the dirt back roads to find a covered bridge with  orange and red leaves hanging above and around it.Fall colors above the covered bridge

What we forget about is that Peak fall foliage Doesn’t just happen in late September and ending in mid October. Mel Allen at Yankee Magazine once said that “Peak fall color is not just one day on the calendar but a continuum that starts and continues through November.” (not an exact quote but with good intent)

Just because the brightest colors start to fade on the hills and mountains in northern New Hampshire or Vermont or Maine, it doesn’t mean the show is over. It means the show is a constantly moving target. It may start to fade up north but it will continue to develop further to the south. To be very honest I will challenge every one of you to say that this image from this past Monday afternoon is anything but glorious! (and yes they are all oaks)November fall color

So please enjoy the rest of November and the more subtle fall color that is presented to us from now till Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has had a great autumn in New England. Even if you didn’t come in person, I hope the images and stories I provide, give you a great autumn experience.

Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
Subscribe to my Newsletter - If you would like to sign up for my Fine Art America Newsletter (click this link and a window will open allowing you to sign up). Why sign up for the newsletter? Contests, discount codes on my artwork, maybe an excerpt from my book "Exploring the back roads of New England with Jeff Foliage"... Yes you heard me right... (Damn now I have to start writing it!)


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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:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
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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Late versus early fall color, does it matter? — 3 Comments

  1. I love your observation about fall being a continuum. The pictures are glorious and make me wonder if this Texan was not secretly born in New England and smuggled south! I have every intention of returning next fall.

  2. Yes, you did give us the perfect foliage experience in New England, even though we were unable to be there in person.
    Next year we are definitely coming and will look forward to your predictions and reports. Keep up the good work !

  3. Woohoo, going next fall on cruise to New England. Sure looking forward to it. Thanks for keeping us up to date on fall foilage

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