|It is our avid desire to provide you with all of the resources necessary to plan and enjoy a wonderful New England fall vacation that you'll remember for a lifetime.
But there are still some nice pockets of peak still to be seen. The suggestions we offer here are for the current foliage season, which is not over yet, and to prepare for next year's season. Many of the state tourism sites recommend that you make a reservation at your favorite accommodations as much as a year in advance.
There are essentially two factors to keep in mind when planning: geography and timing.
A Cape Cod Autumn –- Spell-Binding Getaways
Think of autumn scenes and Cape Cod< doesn't necessarily spring to mind when compared to the traditional New England fall foliage destinations of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Green Mountains of Vermont, or even the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. But the fact it represents a different type of fall vacation is its compelling charm.
Wander with me through a Cape Cod autumn and experience the sights and sounds of one of the most rewarding autumn getaway spots anywhere in the world.
The Process that Turns New England Into a Color Wonderland
In early autumn, in response to the shortening days and declining intensity of sunlight, trees begin the processes leading up to their baldness (no PC emails; I'm follicly challenged myself). The veins that carry fluids into and out of the leaf gradually close off as a layer of cells forms at the base of each leaf. These clogged veins trap sugars in the leaf. Once this separation layer is complete and the connecting tissues are sealed off, the leaf is ready to fall.
As autumn begins to yield to winter, the colors fade and the stems binding leaf to tree begin to weaken. Before long, the leaves are literally hanging by threads--the tiny arteries that brought them water and glucose during the summer. Fall's winds, leaf pickers, wild animals, almost anything that brushes up against them snap them off the tree.
Learn About Thanksgiving and Celebrate the
Holiday Where It All Started: At Plimoth Plantation
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of each year's biggest "holiday season." It's the gateway to warmth, family togetherness and most importantly an opportunity to give thanks for what we have. But today's Thanksgiving is very different from the first one in 1621, the foundation on which today's Thanksgiving is built.
Any exploration of the first and subsequent Thanksgivings during the dawn of European existence in the New World must include the interactions between British newcomers and Native Americans.
At Plimoth Plantation precisely this is done with great and reverent sensitivity about the roles the Native Americans played during those first, fragile years.
You Don't Have to Leave Those
Gorgeous Leaves Behind. Preserve Them
Have you ever wished that you could take some of the gorgeous leaves back home with you, to have and to keep without their losing color? Well you can. All you have to do is pick some that you like from a tree and preserve them. How?
It's actually pretty easy as long as you do it within a few days of your picking the leaves.
It's best to pull leaves off a tree rather than picking up fallen leaves. A fallen leaf will keep its color for a day or two, but once they've fallen, they start to lose moisture quickly, become brittle and then tannin sets in and they turn brown and breakdown. You can pick leaves and if you can't preserve them within a few days, put them in a plastic bag with a sealable top. After you put them in, get as much air out of the bag as possible, then zip it closed.
How to Photograph New England Fall Foliage
Besides family, there's little more as photogenic as a beautiful fall scene. It's as if autumn and the camera were made for each other. In fact—this is conjecture on my part—but when New England is discussed, images of autumn are usually the first to pop into the minds of people hearing mention of the the region.
If I could give you just one piece of advice about photographing fall foliage it would be to always take your photographs when it's sunny. If you're running out of colors, then take your pictures on the least cloudy day. The sun and light bring the colors out in incredible ways. Good news is I'm not limited to one piece of advice. I've got a bunch for you.
Fall Hunting Season In New England
Buy an Orange Jacket or Duck!
It was one of the funniest signs I'd ever seen, crudely made, but it got the point across. I was walking down a country road in Vermont, not far from pastureland on which the farmer had a herd of Holsteins. The cows were grazing about 100 feet away, but I was surprised to see that they didn't look much like cows.
Cows are lost to hunters every year. A lot of hunters just can't wait to pull the trigger, and if something moves, they pull the trigger. Some will shoot anything from squirrels to dogs to cats to cows.
As I looked closer, all of the cows were wearing billboards held together by leather straps. In big, red, quickly scrawled letters was the word "COW!" on each. It's a true story and a good lesson. Trigger-happy hunters will shoot at anything that moves.