It’s just the end of August, but the maple tree by the front window is turning yellow. I don’t think these are fall colors. More like dying leaves from lack of rain and such a very hot summer. But — it did rain today. We got about an inch and maybe more tomorrow. Other places got more, but I’m grateful for every drop that falls from the sky!
Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, or Lake Chargoggaggoggmancogmanhoggagogg (and other various spellings) is also known as Webster Lake, which is what I call it. It’s quite a big lake. Surrounded by trees, many of them maple, it can be spectacular in the fall.
For the non-New Englanders, maple trees are the ones that produce the brilliant red, gold, and orange leaves. Oak leaves turn a soft yellow, then bronze. We have fewer maple trees because oaks block the sunlight. For once, it’s nothing man has done: it’s just nature doing its own thing.
So, wherever you can find maple trees, especially near a body of water, that’s where you will find the brilliant autumn leaves for which New England is famous. Now that August is nearing its end, all of us are hoping for a real autumn. It’s not just the color. It’s also the best weather of the year and with a little luck, can stretch for as long as two months, more or less.
I am not counting on it. Everything is too dry and many trees are already losing their leaves. I know that they aren’t going to give us a magnificent Autumn, but maybe a little bit? Autumn is our reward for surviving New England’s other seasons. We deserve a one great season of crisp weather and bright leaves.
Here’s to Autumn.
From the shores of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I bring you gleaming waters and brilliant scarlet maple trees with the sun shining through.