High: 61° F
Low: 37° F
Conditions: Mostly sunny and calm.
Autumn is as much an occupation as it is a season here in New England. There are plenty of apples to harvest and firewood to stack and hay to bale this time of year. Good pursuits, all of them, but Ari and I decided they could wait a few more days so that we could participate in Maine’s favorite recreational sport: leaf peeping.
As the most forested state in the union (90% of our total area!), Maine takes its foliage very seriously. The state has an entire webpage devoted to the subject and also boasts a 1-800 foliage hotline and interactive map, which is updated daily:
According to this site, we’re not yet at peak, but you’d never know it looking outside, where the hillsides are a garish and fiery display the likes of which usually make understated, puritanical New Englanders blush. Not this week, where the only red hue are our local favorites, the red maples, and this stunning sumac:
Even though scientists have proven that dogs can see certain shades of red, I get the distinct impression that Ari could care less what color the leaves are. But, ever since she was a puppy, she has been a huge fan of any leaf turned brittle by weather and age. We used to joke that, since she was raised in a family of cats, Ari suffered from a species-identity disorder. She’s always been a pouncer and back-of-the-couch percher. Now almost three, she may be a little more grown up and a decent amount more dog-like, but she still relishes the feline, like here, where she’s trapped an oak leaf in her front paws and isn’t about to let go.
Speaking of going, we’re both a little sad to see the familiar V-shape of migrating geese. Each afternoon, our sky is filled with the brush of feathers and the sound of geese triangulating towards warmer climes.
By dusk, many have taken up residence in our local fire pond, where they’ll rest until just before dawn and then continue southward. I have to admit, I hate to see them go.
I was cheered, however, by a story that ran on NPR today about the epic New England pumpkin:
Apparently, intrepid pumpkin growers have become so competitive that some of the champion specimens grow up to 40 pounds a day. That’s all fine and good, but if the pumpkins grow too fast, they are prone to some pretty impressive explosions. You can see the aftermath of one such disaster by clicking on the NPR page here.