This is the time of year I get to spend a few days on the property that otherwise is enjoyed by you all—guests from across the country and around the world. I pick a week or so in September. That’s between the very popular summer season and the equally popular leaf season. Usually I get to see the first blush of fall color. Such a treat for someone who grew up back here, but who doesn’t live here anymore.
I savor the shorter days, the low slant of light, seemingly lower each day, the sharp shadows, thinning as the leaves begin to fall. I love the crisper air in the morning—seeing my breath for the first time in months. I hope it will rain. Yes, I live in California, and while the water won’t do any good back home, it will be very good for my soul. Would a late thunderstorm be too much to ask? Probably.
Coming after Labor Day, I do miss some things. Olalliie Daylilies in South Newfane is closed for the season. At Dutton’s Farm Stand, some of the summer veggies are in shorter supply. The soft-serve ice cream stand in my hometown across the border in MA is already shut up for the season. “See you next year!” the sign happily boasts.
But for each of these losses, so many gains. WIthin two weeks when I’m there, the forest goes from summer-green to beginning fall-plaid. Lots of green still in the blend, but the warm autumn colors are there, too—sometimes in spectacular fashion. Sometimes I drive up into the Green Mountains where the higher elevation is like a time machine. Within an hour of the house, I’m at least a week further into fall foliage. Last year I went up to Stratton on a beautiful, (“typical,” my father would have said) New England day. Not so sure about the latter, but this day was fabulous. My wife and I kept pulling over to take photos. Yes, I know, we were being annoying “flatlanders.” But when it’s your childhood you’re recapturing on film, you do what you have to do.
Watching the calendar now. Just another week. Can’t wait.