On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020) as a place to share our adventures and observations, no matter where we are.
I grew up in northeastern Ohio, which has beautiful fall color but lacks the mountain vistas of New England. In later life I’ve lived on the same property in central Maine for thirty-three years and counting, so I’ve got thousands of fall color pics in my folders. It’s hard to choose just a few!
Every year is different. Some years there are tiny patches of deep red scattered here and there in early August. Other years, like this one, there’s no noticeable color until well into September. Some years the color comes gradually, other years – the rarest, and most stunning – it all explodes at once. This year it started late, but between summer-long drought and early frost it’s moving much faster than usual.
Regardless of annual variations, there are predictable phases: an early period when trees are turning but there’s still a lot of green mixed in, and then a phase when there’s no more green but also not a lot of bare trees yet. Then there’s the time – a few days or a couple of weeks – right after most of the trees are bare, when the ground is colorful and the sunny days are much brighter, because the shade is gone. (Then there’s November, which doesn’t bear thinking about, unless you’re a deer hunter.)
I haven’t tried to represent all the phases, just to capture a variety of moods. As you’ll see, I love reflections. Luckily, central Maine has a wealth of lakes and rivers to provide them.
This is the end of a five-mile long lake, across the road from my house. Early evening. This shot was taken from my living room, hence the wires.
Taken from the town beach.
Morning sun, a bit of breeze.
Different weather, different zoom, afternoon instead of morning.
Near a boat landing, but almost always a quiet spot.
Sometimes I get in the car and drive to find vast vistas of color, but more often I just take pics of the gems that show up along my normal rounds. I have favorite trees scattered all over central Maine by now. This is one of them.
This was one of the ancient maple trees that stood for maybe a century and a half in the front yard of the property where I live. A few years ago the power company, with the collaboration of the owner, took them down. It was a couple of years before I could walk around to the front yard without getting tears in my eyes. (My apartment is around the back.)
Birches, always late to the party.