Years ago, our plain-spoken Australian tour guide told us she couldn’t guarantee that we’d have a stunning sunset at Uluru, as seen in nature and travel documentaries about that part of the world.
We’ll get what we get.
This is real life, not TV.
Nature and travel documentaries about our part of the world often show fabulous drone shots: gorgeous fall colours as far as the eye can see. That’s TV: Real life is a different story.
We get years where low spring rainfall stresses the trees and gives us faded, muddy-coloured leaves in the fall. We get years where tropical-storm remnants blowing through at the wrong moment give us great leaves: all over the ground. We get years where the leaves turn nicely and hold on relentlessly but overcast skies for two weeks give us drab vistas.
This is not one of those years. Not any one of those years.
No, this year offered no photographic excuses: What we got is wonderful. The challenge? As always, to show what it looks like.
These photos taken from the side of the road show what it looks like. Sort of.
Yet somehow these photos hardly seem worth the drive. The zoom that shows the colours loses the panorama that gives the effect.
As usual, getting closer helps. This is more like it — along the lake’s edge and along the road along the lake’s edge.
Or this, with some dark-green conifers providing contrast.
Or this, just the leaves and the sky.
Or this, reflections of glory.
Or this, an entire riverbank and just one branch.
When you got it, flaunt it: That’s the sort of year we have this year. I expect to see drones overhead any day.
On a side note, the Smoky Mountains tourism website has put together an interactive map showing fall colours/colors across the USA by date, but it turns out that predicting the timing is complicated.
. . . the map draws on data including
precipitation and temperature forecasts,
average daylight exposure,
and soil moisture
to predict the timing of leaves’ color change across the continental United States.
– Smithsonian Magazine
I love the picture of the reflections in the water.
Tom – Thanks! I do, too. And 10 minutes later the barest breath of wind came up and the water surface was rippled -reflections all gone.
Mom always loved the fall colors here in the east.
Ralph – 🙂 A woman of discernment.
You captured the great colours we are having this year very well Isabel.
Jim R – Many thanks.
Spring rainfall is a factor new to me and will inform my expectations for future falls. We live amid such glory and this year has been satisfying, feeding us to surfeit. Even the lingering color after the last heavy rain feels more spectacular than many years. Your photos add the sapphire waters of lakes and rivers, the profound beauty that reflects the sky. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s autumn poems come to mind, especially “God’s World.”
Laurna – Yes, we got a good year. When I moved from the West I assumed they’d all be the same – not so much!
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