Norway maple gleaming golden

The neighborhood sugar maples have largely lost their reddish orange leaves, but the Japanese maple in our front yard has burst into flame, and the Norway maples in our backyard are glowing golden against a backdrop of pine boughs. In autumn, trees bloom and ripen like flowers in a well-planned garden, with each species turning in turn.

As above, so below

Today has been unseasonably warm and humid, a day that seems almost eerily out of step with the natural order of things. Many of the remaining leaves came down in last night’s wind and rain, which means the ground is carpeted with a fresh layer of leaves that are nearly as colorful as those still clinging to the trees: as above, so below.

This is my Day 18 contribution to NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, a commitment to post every day during the month of November: thirty days, thirty posts.



Today it’s gray, chilly, and damp–a quintessentially Melvillean day–so I’m glad I snapped this photograph last week, when the neighborhood was on fire with autumn foliage.

Among thorns

Just when I think the autumn landscape couldn’t get any lovelier, something unexpected catches fire.

Oaks in glory

There is a noticeable succession of color in New England in the fall. The brilliant oranges and reds come first, and then the foliage deepens and darkens into brown and burnished gold: autumn’s bronze age.


Despite last weekend’s snow and wind, not all the trees have lost their autumn leaves.

Stopping by woods...

On sunny autumn days, I remember how lucky I am to live in New England, a place some people only get to visit on vacation. This past weekend was Columbus Day, an excuse for Massachusetts residents–leaf peepers–to invade New Hampshire in search of foliage, but their annual pilgrimage is one I do twice a week, there and back.

New England asters

On my Tuesday commute, the road from Newton to Keene was fringed with color like a swaddling scarf. Mostly red and gold, these colors glowed as if illuminated from within. The air itself even looked golden: the sky pale blue and trailed with wispy clouds, with everything tinted with a yellow metallic glint that occurs only this time of year. These golden days are precious because they never last.

At one point as I steered my car along a gray ribbon of road wending between glowing trees, a crew of inmates in eye-smarting orange safety vests clustered along the berm, gathering litter into bright yellow bags. On the opposite side of the road, a stubbly brown farm field was liberally dotted with orange pumpkins. Driving from Newton to Keene on days like these is like unrolling an earth-toned panorama, but instead of looking at the scene, you’re in it, wondering if your own skin glows gold and electric.

I wrote this entry on Tuesday in one of my Creative Nonfiction classes, in response to the prompt “Morning Commute.” Many times I’ve wished I had a camera attached to the hood of my car, so I could show you what I see on my Tuesday and Thursday drives between Newton and Keene.

Tuesday was so lovely, I had to stop to snap at least one picture, taken in the parking area of the High Ridge Wildlife Management Area in Westminster, MA, which I pass every time I drive to Keene. Today, it’s pouring rain, making for a much gloomier commute.

Ivied wall

During any month in which you’ve made a public promise to blog everyday, it’s a good idea to have at least one generic post on hand just in case you ever need to slap something up on a day when you’re too busy to write a proper post. This photograph of the ivy-clad wall of the Historical Society of Cheshire County, taken last month, is exactly that kind of post.

Yellow on red

These days, the most vivid fall foliage has already fallen, snagging in equally colorful shrubs.

This is my contribution to today’s Photo Friday theme, Vivid.