Seeing Red

No, I’m not angry.

Rather, I’m gobsmacked by the beautiful array of reds nature puts on display in Vermont this time of year. And to think the autumn colors show is just getting started!

Let me show you what I mean.

dropped leaves of red, orange, yellow and brown covering a rail trail
I started noticing red started in the leaves carpeting a rail trail where Conall and I occasionally run.
September 24, 2021.
dog on trail, trees with fall foliage on both sides
A few days later, some rebel trees were eager to get the show going. September 27, 2021.

Recently, when Conall and I run along this rail trail, I smell…pumpkin and spice! I’m sure the scent comes from decaying leaves, but it instantly transports me back to my years in Seattle, when, in October, all the Starbucks shops had pumpkin spice scones. I don’t like coffee and generally don’t visit Starbucks, but I love scones and every October I regularly went in search of those pumpkin spice scones. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for one now! (I haven’t seen a Starbucks since moving to Vermont.)

maple with red leaves in woods
This young tree, deep in the woods where the boys and I walk most mornings, was one of the first to change color a few weeks ago, going straight to all red yet holding onto its leaves. September 28, 2021.
chokecherry tree leaves and berries
It’s not just maple leaves that are red (although they’re my favorite). Chokecherry tree leaves and their berries add a bright pop of red along roads. October 2, 2021.

Next is a series of photos of the maple tree that had me ruminating on the color red this morning. The boys and I were ambling through the fields and woods across our road. It was foggy with a light drizzle. We took a slight detour, and Conall followed his nose to this tree. I was facing the other way, focused on a nearby pond and its cattails, Asters and Goldenrod, and it wasn’t until I turned to look for Conall that I saw him standing near the base of this tree.

It was on (figurative) fire!

maple with bright red leaves
From a few yards away.
closer view of red maple leaves
Standing close.
closeup of red maple leaves
Up close and personal.

As I took photos, I was ruing the fact that the sky was dreary gray, imagining how spectacular this tree would look in bright sunlight. But back home, editing photos, I realized that the sheen of foggy dampness provided a luminosity to the leaves that even sunlight couldn’t improve.

maple with red leaves from a distance
The same tree, seen from a distance as the boys and I continued our walk.
brightly colored maple leaves on ground
Looking up or looking down, splashes of red – and orange, yellow and brown – tickle the eye.

Finishing our walk through a stretch of woods, I see hints of even more vibrant colors to come through the rest of October.

forest path with maples and other tree leaves in fall colors

Is it any wonder they call this “leaf peeping season” in Vermont?

I’m grateful the boys and I have landed in such a beautiful place, a landscape that seems to change daily, keeping us intrigued and eager to visit again and again.

Stay tuned for more fall foliage photos as the show continues all across Vermont…!

Feature photo: maple leaves, October 2, 2021.

23 thoughts on “Seeing Red”

    1. I was thinking of you when I created the post! 🙂

      I think you’re right; Vermont has justly earned its reputation as the leaf peeping place to be. The maple reds are amazing. I remember fall colors in my home state of Washington, western side, with lots of maples, birches and alders, but I don’t remember the truly vibrant colors – reds in particular – or huge swathes of color (orange, yellow and red) across every hillside that I’m seeing in Vermont. This is simply wondrous!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Some of them, yes! Not to my liking, not particularly tasty, so I see why most people use them for cider or applesauce. I’m picky about apples, and spoiled; recently a new type of apple called Cosmic Crisp, created at Washington State University and introduced to general markets in 2019, became my favorite. They were relatively easy to find in Idaho stores. I haven’t found one in Vermont yet, but hopefully soon! Worth the search, trust me!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andy! It’s been many years since I lived in western Washington state, where the climate and forests are similar, but I don’t remember the maples there being quite so vibrant and red and these in Vermont. It’s pretty amazing.

      Like

  1. Gobsmacked! The perfect way to put it when you consider the array of colors and the perfume of a fall day in New England. And not for nothing, but Mama Nature gets the blue ribbon when it comes to doing up pumpkin and spice, for reals.

    Liked by 1 person

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