Yesterday we took a bit of fall tour, driving from Stonington over to Castine. It’s a roundabout trip that takes you on winding roads that skirt the bays and coves and inlets of the craggy Maine coast. Along the way you see some beautiful scenery — like the view above of the Eggemoggin Reach in the distance and some colorful trees from the commanding heights of Caterpillar Hill.
Castine is a charming town that is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy. It has a long history that dates back to the 1600s. If you walk away from the downtown area you’ll find streets that look like movie sets, with tidy federal-style homes and white picket fences and trees sporting their blazing fall colors. Many of the houses feature signs in front that tell of the history of the area, and the intermittent clashes between the French, the Dutch, the Mohawks, the British, and finally the Americans who fought over this strategic spot on the shoreline from the 1600s until the War of 1812.
As is always the case with coastal Maine, it all comes down to the water. There aren’t many tourist here in October, which makes it a quiet, peaceful time to visit. You’ll get a chance to experience some beautiful colors, but also the serenity of the solitary sailboat moored on the quiet waters of Penobscot Bay.
The leaves that have already fallen crunch underfoot. The walker kicks through the leaf piles, sending acorns skittering across the pavement. There’s a faint tang of wood smoke in the crisp, clear air, and the leaves give off their own spicy scent. And everywhere the trees are bursting with color when they are struck by the morning sunshine.
It’s orange season!
We’ve had a few days where the overnight temperatures have dropped into the 40s. The leaves on the trees at Schiller Park are just starting to turn, and the mums are in their full glory. This morning the air was crisp, and it felt invigorating to take some deep breaths as I walked around the park.
If you don’t feel stimulated by autumn in the Midwest, there’s something wrong with you. It’s the best season of the year.
There’s still some color on the trees of New Albany — as shown by this flaming red tree along Route 62, next to the entrance to Alban Mews.
It’s been a beautiful fall color season in New Albany this year. The maple tree in our backyard looked particularly radiant, with its blazing orange leaves. Unfortunately, the inevitable autumn storms have come, and the wind and rain have knocked many of the leaves off the trees — as the carpet of color at the base of our maple tree indicates. We’ll have a more days of the beautiful colors, then it will be time for the grim Skeletal Tree Season.
It’s been a very cool end of summer in New Albany, and now that autumn has officially arrived the leaves are starting to turn a bit earlier than normal. It’s sad to see summer leave with a chilly morning whimper, but the first hints of rusty fall colors make me feel a bit better about the change of seasons.
Autumn is a beautiful season in the Midwest and Northeast, as the leaves change and the last seasonal blooms appear. The average bit of Ohio woodland may not be as richly colorful as, say, a Vermont forest, but it is still a treat for the senses. It is a time of year when a normally brisk walk slows down, so the walker can try, at least, to fully appreciate the surprisingly rich tapestry of colors found in that patch of trees that has been passed thousands of times before.