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Thoughts on the 2009 Foliage Season: Color, Weather, Etc...
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:02 pm
Rockwall Tim from Texas
posed this question which I thought was an excellent one and it deserves its own thread. I've been thinking a lot about this season myself and want to thank Rockwall for bringing it to the forefront. Here is his question/comment from a post he just
made that was embedded in the state report post and which may have gotten buried in due time:
How does this foliage season rank with others? Since I've seen only six of them (I live in Texas), I don't have enough data to know. But based on our trip there two weeks ago, I can't imagine this season being anywhere other than the very top.
What are your impressions from the color display, timing of "peak" (we all have various opinions on that issue)
, weather (rain) issues and wind, that you may have on this 2009 Foliage Season?
Some folks are better at the "ranking" comparisons from years past.
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:36 pm
Hi MMVT: That's a good reflection of the season. Here's my take on it.
In my humble flatlander opinion, last year was the shining star. The colors, beautiful weather and length of season in 2008 was phenomenal. I experienced little if any rain.
However, I do think this 2009 season started out to be quite promising and showed signs of rivaling 2008. I was up from 10/1 thru 10/7. The day I drove up there was only occasional, splotchy showers but lots of blue skies here and there, and on the reunion day 10/3, we had on and off showers and one downpour. Other than that, my weather was pretty decent and I had no complaints and enjoyed many outdoor activities.
Last year I had continual blue skies on my two trips. This year there were a lot of clouds in and out and that was more the norm. I can't say this affected my views on the foliage. It was warmer last season and was perfect weather for a longer period of time.
The day I drove home on 10/7 was dreadful. Driving on 89 and part of 91 was difficult to say the least. When I got to the VT border the sun came out and the rest of the day was gorgeous! But I hear things went downhill starting on 10/7 with longer and steadier rains, wind and fog.
I thought the colors were great this year. Not sure if anyone will agree, but were there less vivid reds? Maybe before 10/1 there may have been more. Nonetheless, I think the foliage during the time of my trip was beautiful. I really can't complain having only 1 day of on and off showers during my stay, plus the day of heavy rain driving home. If it hadn't been raining the last day though, I would have stayed later and done some more driving around and maybe have extended my trip another day.
I think Mother Nature threw an iron into her "foliage fire" and jumbled things up and subsequently the season was just not what we thought it was going to be weatherwise. I always said Mother Nature holds the reins. Things can change quickly in a heartbeat. Wind was definitely a factor this year and a lot of areas took a hit, even in my state.
I did have a wonderful time and my two coveted activities (besides the reunion and Friday tour of course), where I needed to be outside all the time - the horsebackriding and the Autumn on the Green Festival - both had terrific weather.
Just wondering what everyone else thought. Visits during earlier or later times in the month or in varying parts of the state may have been a different scenario for other visitors............ I would be interested to hear what the local Vermonters think about this season since they live there.
There's always next year!
Oh by the way, as I write this the "monsoon" is upon my state.
Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:08 am
I was in Vermont from 10/3 - 10/11. I though the color was amazing in the NEK (from St. Johnsbury all the way up to Lake Willoughby) and in the White Mtns until about 10/7, at which point the rain and wind took it's toll quickly.
At that point we decided to start exploring south. We drove down through Woodstock on 10/9. To be honest, I thought it looked drab. It seemed early and late at the same time. A lot of leaf drop but the colors were mostly early. What color there was was mostly yellow. I'd be curious to know from someone who visited later if the Woodstock are ever looked very good this season?
On 10/10, we drove down through the Warren area. The Warren area was much better than Woodstock although not nearly as spectacular as the St Johnsbury area was early in the week.
On 10/11 we drove through the Manchester area on our way home. It was kind of drab. Similar to Woodstock. I don't think it was just that I was too early, because we had driven up through Manchester on 10/3 and I thought the early color was very pretty.
So all told, I would say it was a great year IF you hit it at the right place and right time. And I would guess that many southern parts of the state never really hit their stride.
Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:51 pm
My feeling is that this was a very good season here in the NEK. The reds and oranges were paticularly vivid. However, I could have done with a few more blue sky days. The constant cloudyness became a bit of a drag and limits the type of pictures you can take. I rank this year a 7 out of 10. Last year was a 9. I really think this year could have been as good or better than last year with a few more blue sky days thrown in.
Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:48 am
This year, was up in New Hampshire and Vermont from last week of September through October 9th. Colors did not flow along from North to South as Fall Foliage maps generalize. Many times we came upon places where it was guesswork, are colors early or past peak?? We drove the Kanc Hwy in N.H. on a Thursday, October 1, 2009. Colors were vibrant along the water's edge at the Lincoln Ranger Station. Two days later, Saturday we returned to same site and the vibrant colors along the water's edge (reds and yellows) were gone. However, the general drive of the Kanc Hwy was near peak and beautiful.
October 4, 2009, drove up Route 100 North from Killington, Vermont. Colors appeared early or past peak. Alot of bare trees along Route 100. Yet, alot of trees still green or with emerging colors. After a stop at Green Mountain Sugar House, we turned around and drove Route 100 South. However, others reported towns adjacent to Route 100 North, had awesome colors. This year was like clusters of colors; colors did not "flow" along gradually down Vermont from North to South like a blanket as many may have anticipated.
Overall, there was plenty of Fall Foliage color to enjoy but had to be sought by driving around which is evident from many of the beautiful pictures posted on this forum.
That's what makes Vermont so interesting, you can return at the same time each year and same place to find it will not be the same!
Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:38 pm
Aspen: very good comment at the end of your post. I always have Mother Nature at the very back of my mind, holding my breath, hoping that there are no last minute surprises! But we did have a few this year. Wind, rain and fog as the season progressed.
To tell you the truth, I was a little worried about how very dry September was around here this year. I thought to myself, oh no, what if October is rainy! I kept worrying that the reunion would be washed out but it was salvaged. And the rain still cometh! I've had enough of it already! I think we're in for a snowy winter.....
Your idea that folks may have had to drive around this year to find the color, may be true. Like you, it also crossed my mind, where was the normal flow from North to South? I think it started out that way in the NEK because it WAS gorgeous the first weekend up there in October. It will always be a favorite area of mine.
Whatever happened this year, it is what it is. I thought my color tours were great. Not every season is perfect but there is always beautiful color to be found somewhere. I am very thankful I had such an awesome season on both trips in 2008. That will hold me over for awhile!
I still enjoy reading everyone's comments. They are all so different. Seems like for the most part, people were generally very satisfied with their trips. And oh, the pictures! They have been wonderful!
We keep coming back now don't we?
Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:41 pm
It's interesting reading other's replies to this post. I thought the colors were good in places this year, but not widespread as in some previous years. The first weekend in October, I was in the Dixville Notch area (NH) and the colors were gorgeous. Bright oranges and reds. Unfortunately, the weather was not so gorgeous, so it made it difficult to enjoy. Also visited the NEK that weekend, and the colors were great, but by the time the sun really came out, it was too bright for any good photos. Columbus Day I went as far north/west as Stowe, over towards Woodstock, and down as far as Rochester. The colors were defintitely spotty, as Aspen had said. I was surprised to find tons of color in the Waitsfield/Warren area that late, but then a lot of bare branches in the Woodstock area. It was a still a great foliage season.
Here in Cape Ann (MA), the colors are finally turning, but are very muted this year. There's been a lot of leaf drop from the rain and wind we've had, so by comparison, it was a great foliage year in VT. Hoping to get out this weekend to enjoy the last of the foliage with a local photo group on a cemeteries tour.
All in all, not a bad year for colors, but you had to travel a bit to see them. Had the weather cooperated a bit more, it would have been a great year!
Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:42 am
Hi Laura: Others have mentioned that the Warren/Waitsfield area had pretty strong and lasting colors this year. I was there a few days and it was beautiful with vibrant foliage.
I agree with your comment that the color was not as widespread as in previous years.
I hope you post your photos on the tour you are going on this weekend in the cemetary.
The colors here are fading and so many leaves dropping from the heavy rains. More rain on the way for Halloween weekend..... Some trees here are still green and others in full color so it is still autumn in "spots"!