What better topic to discuss when temps are nearing 90 degrees than fall foliage?
Yes, it’s been a very warm start to fall. But cooler temps are on the horizon (they’ll make their way in by Sunday) and some color is showing up across New England.
The annual rite of passage is actually a bit more dependent on decreasing amounts of daylight/lower sun angle than it is temperature, so they begin to change just about the same time every year. An unusually cold period can help accelerate that change (no chance of that!)
Foliage spotters (I’m going to avoid using leaf-peepers here….a bit creepy) have started to report spotty color across much of northern New England. As you can imagine, the Greens, Whites, and Allagash Mountains are showcasing some of the most widespread color at the moment. There have also actually been quite a few trees starting to change or drop their leaves right here around the Boston area. Every year, some trees lose the green by mid-August. Most of these trees are stressed, weak, or diseased in some way. I’ve noticed quite a bit of this so far, and have put in a couple of emails to forestry experts to see if there may be some disease/virus passing through the area this season. The healthiest trees don’t start to shed their foliage until September, with many of them waiting until October.
You can usually count on the swamp maples turning first (out of the healthy group). Brilliant reds will start gracing the landscape before you know it. Lifelong New Englanders know the drill. Region by region, stick season will arrive. Naked trees shiver in chilly winds across the highest elevations by late September, and to the south that trend moves until all the foliage is in our yards by the start of November (hooray, raking!). Cape Cod and the Islands get to put off this chore the longest.
Also in the spirit of fall, I have produced a ‘Cheerscast’ for your TGIF. Whether you’re traveling or staying local, this should help out with your important beverage selection. Enjoy the weekend responsibly!