Fall is in the air? What does that mean? Every year I seem to notice it right around Labor Day weekend. Something’s changed. It’s still summer but what? The air is just a bit crisper. The sun a bit lower in the sky. It’s hard to say exactly what it is, but it starts to feel like a new season. Autumn is here and it’s one of my favorites.
The Temperatures! And the Color!
Days are still warm but evenings, refreshingly cool. Thoughts of lighting a fire or making my sweaters a little more accessible come to mind. But the thing I love the most is the fall color. In the Bay Area, swatches of color show up as the season progresses to winter, especially with the Ginko, Liquidambar and Pistache trees. An autumn drive through wine country is met with blasts of reds, yellows and orange as the multitudes of grape vines start to lose their leaves. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy one’s fall color craving, just a few hours away is Tahoe where the Aspens really put on a show! I find that I just can’t get enough!
One year, during a fall stay in Tahoe, I took a hike from Spooner to Marlette Lake. The Aspens were at their peak and I’m pretty sure all of my uncontrolled picture taking added an extra hour to my hike. Some parts of the trail were simply a tunnel of orange. The bright yellows leaves reflected in the lake under a piercing blue sky were stunning!
Travel is Easier, Too
Of course, if you want grander shows, New England comes to mind, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, most of Canada… And the good news, with all the kids back in school, it’s easier to travel (and less expensive). Summer is great but fall trips have been my most memorable. Writing this post got me to reflect back on several of them. If you are thinking of planning a trip to view fall color, I found several websites that report the status of the fall foliage such as the Foliage Network (shows color level and leaf drop) or the US Forest Service. And if you need a tool to plan ahead, the Fall Foliage Predication Map gives you an idea which week the fall colors are best in the area you’re planning to visit.
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