Tag Archives: New England

Drought effect on Autumn in New England

My first thoughts on the drought and how it will affect the New England fall colors.

First! Don’t worry be happy!

I’m reading blogs and news reports of the forest services in MA, VT, NH and the general consensus is that depending on where you are this will be a normal or above normal year.

Everybody wearing their fall foliage smiley face?

Ok, deep breath, the drought affects different trees in different ways… (not the solid answer you want right? read on…)

New England fall foliage in Massachusetts
Blue heron fishing in a very dry pond 2012

I know that doesn’t sound good because you have laid out big bucks for your fall foliage vacation.

I hear this a lot, “I’m looking for perfect fall colors and if I’m not guaranteed of perfect colors I’m cancelling” (slight paraphrase).

My advice for someone like this is simple. STAY HOME! It will never be perfect.

I’ve never seen “perfect” fall color everywhere across an entire region. Have I seen “peak” sure but I’ve seen much more wonderful fall colors that doesn’t come close to the mythical “peak”.

The Guildhall grist mill sits on the old Crawford farm homestead. there is a splitrail fence surrounding the property.
The Guildhall gristmill on the Crawford farm

If I find 50% of the trees are at full color, I’m happy, If I find 75% of the trees are at full color, I’m ready to have a heart attack. If I do see an area that does look like “peak”, then I’ve died and gone to heaven…

Just for the record, I’ve seen peak 5% of the past 15+ seasons. I’ve seen 75% of full color about 55% of the same time frame. I’ve seen 50% of full color around 95% of the same time frame.

What to do about my plans?

Well check Jeff_Foliage.com for current updates and leave your questions on the current articles.

Next don’t worry about the fall colors as much as planning to explore and find all the wonderful things to do in New England

I hope this was helpful.. a little 🙂

Jeff Folger

A meeting house, fall colors and Peyton Place

Fall colors over MA meeting house
A Massachusetts meeting house

Smith Meeting House in Gilmanton NH

Lisa and I were out scouting for fall colors and we drove up Route 107 in New Hampshire, towards Alton Bay and then back down various roads.

We spotted a  historical marker for the Smith Meeting House outside of Gilmanton NH and decided to go find it. (note, none of the images are of the Smith meeting house).

Fall foliage forum

I created a foliage forum for you to check out what everybody is looking for in fall foliage in New England. Feel free to chat, ask questions or even answer a few.  Check out Autumn Advice foliage forum (link takes you to a topic on meeting houses).

Historical markers come in many shape and sizes. some look like tombstones sticking out of the ground but many are 2-3 feet square with a short history of a building or location.

Orange fall colors around meeting house and cemetery
Another meeting house and cemetery in Maine

So this is what I want all of you to do, no matter where you find a marker. STOP and read it. Make a game of it and then go and find the object that the sign talks about. I want you to stop, go back and take the turn and see where it leads you.

The road (Smith meeting house rd) leads you off a ways until you leave the pavement behind.  You follow the dirt road until you come to a left hand turn and where you re-acquire the pavement.  A short distance up on the left is the cemetery, school house and Meeting house. Now, just so you know, this isn’t the original that was started in 1774 and finished 16 years later in September of 1790.

A newfane meeting house in winter
A meeting house in Winter, still nice.

I won’t go into all the details but I will say this restored version which took much less time to rebuild than the first time around and is really beautiful.

The white buildings are surrounded by sugar maples. So if you go there in around 10-12 October, it should be in full color.

For those of you who read my articles, you know I love cemeteries for the fall colors and old maple trees. Well this one is much smaller but does have some surrounding it. One other reason to visit old graveyards is to read the markers.

Seeing who was buried there and were they well known. This one didn’t disappoint. But don’t ask the locals about who is in their graveyard since the famous person is Grace Metalious (author). For those who are very young (like me)  you may not remember her.

Grace wrote the scintillating novel ‘Peyton Place’ (Very risquĂ© by those days, standards) and many of the town residents, to this day are still sensitive about her racy book about Gilmanton.

I didn’t have to ask any locals about it but I was filled in by the local historian Barbara Macintyre. So if you go and find this place, take a walk in the cemetery and sneak a peak at their only official marker, that she was ever there.

Jeff Folger
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