various variegated leaves

I did promise leaf photos. Here are several leaves that caught my eye for their variety of color and pattern.

In my part of New England, this fall has been a strange one, foliage-wise. Well, weather-wise, which affects the foliage. First, the cool weather of fall was late to kick in, and we only had our fist chilly nights pretty late into October, which meant that most of the leaves stayed green up to that point. When those cold nights hit, we had a sudden dramatic change to the warm side of the spectrum. Then we were hit by a big storm a couple of weeks later, with high winds that pretty well cleared the trees of leaves. As one friend put it, we had a “pop and drop” foliage season.

late fall color

Even thought the temperatures are dropping, and we’ve aleady had our sampling of snow, ice and frost, it is still technically the fall here in New England. And while the most dramatic fall colors are seen in the trees through the month of October, bits of bright color can still be found here and there well into November. Especially in the bushes and small plants in the undergrowth. Here are a few bits of color I came across in the last couple of weeks in November.


red leaves, on and off the trees

Most of the brightly colored leaves have dropped in the last few weeks, but a few trees have stubbornly held on. I had hoped that these little Japanese maples would hold on to their leaves for a few more days to welcome my California guests with a display of New England fall color. However, a heavy rain storm brought most of the remaining leaves down in short order. On the bright side, the fallen blanket of red leaves still looks pretty, as do the sparse remaining leaves clinging to the branches.

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Once again, I am without time and energy to enumerate my gratitude. I guess I’ll need to serve up a triple helping tomorrow…

tunnels through the trees

I live in a part of Massachusetts that is heavily wooded. The rural roads cut through the woods, winding through the pillars of tree trunks. The branches of the towering trees arch overhead, often forming what look like tunnels of trees.

Here are a few photos I’ve taken over the years of the roads winding through the arching trees, in the fall, the winter and the spring.

to catch a snowflake (friday foto finder: snowflake)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programing of fall leaves and water drops to bring you a preview of the trends to come.

Back in January, a few weeks after I serendipitously spotted and photographed a bunch of freshly fallen and perfectly articulated snowflakes, I decided to try to try my luck with intentionally capturing freshly fallen snowflakes. Once there is snow on the ground (which there pretty much is here December through February or March), the fresh flakes tend to blend in with the old flakes. They are certainly fresher and whiter than the snow on the ground, but they don’t photograph well. What they need is a bit more contrast to show off their lines.

So, when snowstorm started, I decided to see if I could catch some snowflakes. As a background, I grabbed a dark colored fuzzy scarf and brought it outside to my front yard. Actually, first I let it chill for a bit on covered front porch, because a warm scarf from inside would certainly melt any individual snowflakes pretty much instantly.

The trap was moderately successful, and I could indeed make out the shapes of many an individual snowflake. Photographing them was rather challenging, though. You see, snowflakes are small. It’s quite tricky to focus on the little buggers. And you might also be surprised to know that when it is snowing outside, it can be downright cold out. Yes, you heard it here first. The result of this was that as I squatted over my scarf trying to focus on the individual flakes with my quickly numbing fingers, I also got downright chilled. (Shivering, does not help one steady one’s hand.)

Clearly, what I needed was to bring out a tripod. However, it wasn’t long before it was a moot point. The fickle New England weather turned from snow to freezing rain, and the individual snowflakes on my scarf quickly evolved into clumps of slush.

Perhaps this year I will try again and set an all-new snowflake trap, and work out these kinks. Build a better snowflake trap, as it were.

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “snowflake.” To see the flurry of other snowflakes that have been caught, stop by the fff blog.

today’s assortment of ridiculously photogenic fall leaves

This has been a spectacularly spectacular fall here in Massachusetts. Every day, more stunning trees and gorgeous fallen leaves compete for my attention. Here are a few leaves I saw today that practically begged me to take their photo.

I loved the way these various leaves had arranged themselves on the driveway for a photoshoot.

This perky little guy stretched out in the shrubbery, the better to show off its striking flame colors against the dark green.

Just look at these two sweethearts, nestled together, and showing off their jagged lines and patchwork outfits. (And I can’t be the only one to see the heart shape in the top leaf.)

This elegant pair is showing off the classic New England maple style: deep red with subtle color variation.

And this one? So obviously just showing off. Can one leaf really get away with wearing so many different colors?

serene New England fall pictures

I am feeling far from serene today, and may even have had a bit of a tantrum today. We are in the process of moving, and even though it is only a local move, it is a flood of new stresses added to our already packed lives. We are dealing with contractors and service providers, and today was one of those days that left me feeling unhinged. There are so many details to track and sort through that it makes it hard for me to think straight, especially when dealing with conflicting priority lists and contractors giving the run-around.

So, to compensate for the lack of serenity that I am feeling, I am posting photos of a relaxing walk in New Hampshire with friends from a few years ago.