A Feast of Color

Columbus Day weekend dawned clear and dry, with a sky as blue as can be. We had two of our dearest friends visiting from Long Island, so on Friday we took them on “the local tour.” First stop was in Gilmanton at “Four Corners.” The sugar maples were at their best, the Town Hall and the Community Church a stunning white against the sky and leaves.

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We headed east to Alton Bay, and then followed Rt 11 northwest along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. A stop at famed Weirs Beach was a must; what a delight to find it almost deserted, after the throngs of people and traffic before Labor Day! The view across the Lake to the foothills of the White Mountains was as good as ever. Then north to Meredith – one of the prettiest towns on this shore of the Lake – and time for lunch! It was still warm enough to eat outdoors on the deck of Kara’s Cafe, and enjoy the food and the local sights.

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As October has gone by, Fall colors have burst out! The sugar maples were first, early in the month, with their orange and scarlet – but they are also the first to fade in areas exposed to wind and rain.

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Now the birches, beeches, red maples and oaks have added their brilliant palette of yellow, orange, rust, deep red; while pine and hemlock provide a dark green background. Across our lake just before sunset, the hills and shore become a stunning orange!

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But among my favorites for color are the humble roadside sumac, which here grow to be modest bushes and not 30ft trees as they do farther south. Their palette runs from green/yellow to orange/scarlet.

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We enjoy a feast of Fall color in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, and we are grateful!





Fall Flies By

September flew by, and Summer turned to Fall – very quickly!

If you have lived long near the ocean, where the water buffers the falling temperature and extends mild weather from September though November, it’s a shock to live inland and discover how rapidly it gets cold! Our first brush with chilly air – the kind that makes you say “no more beach days” – came in the second week of August. Of course there have been warm days since then; it reached 80deg in the last week of September. But now we are in the upper 30s overnight, some sheltered areas have had their first frost, and the daytime highs are in the mid-50s. The temperature and the dew-point have dropped 15-20 degrees in a few weeks.

But the rewards of living in the north country are well known.  Glorious Fall colors! With an abundance of maples, beeches and sumac, we are treated to wonderful displays of yellow, gold and scarlet in the trees.DSC_0061  And there are misty mornings on the lakes! DSC_0060

The local farm stands are full of pumpkins, corn, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and squashes. The winery is recruiting volunteers to pick grapes. We are enjoying “the best weeks of the year” around here, and we love our view across the lake.

A wedding in late September gave us another excuse to return to Long Island. It was like going to Florida – warm, humid, green, with people in shorts going to the beach! But we love to keep up with our NY friends. They excelled themselves once again; every day there was a lunch or dinner gathering, or both! Pot-lucks, dinners, lunches, the wedding reception, an afternoon at a local winery – after 5 days we were filled, happy and tired! DSC_0024 We visited a horse-rescue farm, and launched a balloon over LI Sound in memory of a dear friend. IMG_0025 - Version 2   We topped off the visit with a trip into Brooklyn to see our older son and his new apartment.

Now we sense that here, Fall will rapidly change into Winter. At church, our choir director was handing out Advent anthems! In a few weeks the lake will freeze and we will have our first snow. So the RV has been winterized, today the furnace will be cleaned, and deck furniture, canoes and kayak will be have to be stored before the storms blow in off the lake. Where summers are warm and winters cold, Fall is a time of rapid change!

Oh  yes, I am starting a part-time job later this week, and will be leaving home at 5:30am! I will need wool socks and long-johns very soon!