There’s nothing like Fall in the northeast to remind us of impermanence. The backyard sugar maples are lush with greenery one minute…and then suddenly, when we’re off bringing kids to school or watching endless Saturday soccer games, the trees start shouting red and orange, “Look at me! Over here! You haven’t noticed me once and you’ve driven this road a hundred times!” The spirited and hopeful peepers (not the frogs, but the people) come in droves from other parts of the country to witness this transformation. But the flare of beauty lasts for only about a week. Then, before we have a chance to really appreciate this rainbow, the leaves start spinning to the ground in great clusters, and the trees are stripped bare. Now disrobed, they stand sheepish and stiller than before, gently whispering in our ears, “I hope you got a good glance before all that went away.” Yankee Magazine’s live foliage report and colored map shows that southern New Hampshire and central Massachusetts are barely clinging to peak season. On Yankee’s web site, you can actually become a foliage ambassador and set up a log-in so you can submit reports for your area. Kind of cool. A good job for me once I’m retired maybe. But I can’t help but notice that the stages of this map reflect life as we know it—as impermanent as it is—the stages are listed plainly as Green, Turning, Moderate, Peak, Fading, and then just Gone.
Photograph courtesy of Evgeni Dinev.