FESTIVAL OF LEAVES – MID-OCTOBER IN NEW ENGLAND – Marilyn Armstrong

Festival of Leaves 2018 ~
Week # 4: The Orange on the Side of the Road


It is the middle of October and it should be the peak of the peak of the color change. Usually, Columbus Day marks the peak of the autumnal glow in New England, but summer lasted longer than usual … like a month longer than usual … and there has been an awful lot of rain.

Along the Blackstone in Rhode Island

In fact, it has been raining heavily every morning for a couple of weeks. It usually dries out by evening, but we only get a couple of hours of sunshine and until last night, we have not had a frost.

Now, of course, it’s getting cold very quickly. It was 88 degrees (Fahrenheit which translates to 31.1 Celsius) a few days ago and last night it went down into the 30s … which is a pretty big drop. During the last heavy rains, a lot of trees lost their leaves. Green leaves, falling like autumn leaves. I looked out through the leaves and I realized that even if the leaves finally began to change, there wouldn’t be enough of them left on the trees to make much of a show.

Home

Today, when the rain stopped around noon, we went out and took a few more pictures. Because our autumn is ending before it really began.

Orange maple by the Mumford Dam

Still, it’s pretty. Not glorious. Not heartbreaking with the beauty of the colors … but it’s pretty. And to be fair, we don’t have a glorious autumn every year. It all depends on the weather. If we get a cold snap at the right time and we don’t get huge amounts of rain and wind, our world glows.

Leaves on the lawn

On a year like this? Imperfect, but pretty. And along the rivers, at least the yellows are gorgeous.

I FORGOT TO POST SOMETHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I was supposed to post something. And I completely forgot. We got into going to get the long-lost car key — not like just getting your key copied at the key store anymore — and then I stopped to take some pictures at the dam and continued on to the grocery.

Then I unpacked the groceries, started the chili, decided to process the pictures … and realized I never got around to posting anything at all.

So here are a few pictures from the Mumford dam in the middle of town. It’s pretty. It’s not the kind of bright and colorful you might expect. So many leaves fell off during the past three days of pounding rain — bright green leaves falling — so even trees which are changing are doing it in pastels. Not going to be a great autumn.

By the time the leaves change, there won’t be any left on the trees. Tonight, the weather is supposed to drop into the 40s — which is normal for this time of year. But after all this prolonged warm weather, it’s more than a dollar short and weeks rather than days late.

Meanwhile, the chili tastes weird because I put in the wrong beans. I don’t believe I did that.

I think I am mentally on “off.”

ANOTHER CHILLY, RAINY DAY IN THE VALLEY – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s supposed to be better tomorrow. It’s always supposed to be better tomorrow, especially if you had photographic plans for today. At least it isn’t pouring. It’s just drippy and grey and muddy.

Rocks and a tree limb

We went to the doctor yesterday and I noticed that now, many trees have changed color and if we can just get some decent weather, it might be time to go take some seriously autumnal pictures.

Garry at Manchaug
Marilyn at Manchaug

Meanwhile, we did take some pretty nice shots the other day at Manchaug. Call them the “pre-autumnal” photo set. Some by Garry, others by me.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Manchaug has one of the prettiest dams and falls in the area. Not nearly as big as many of the falls, it is high above the stream into which it falls and the way the light falls, the water is crystal pale while the background nearly black.

YESTERDAY, WE FOUND A HINT OF FALL – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – FALL


Yesterday, in the rain driving to the doctor, we kept looking for fall. We could see touches of it here and there, but given that it is already the end of September, it should have been everywhere.

One autumn tree in a sea of green

But today, with the temperature just right. The rain has finally finished and the sun is shining. I live in hope. If we look, I’m sure we will find a little hint of the fall to come.

So, just so you know what might be on its way, these were all taken in mid-October. By the river, on our own street, near the dam in the middle of town.

It’s coming. I can smell it in the air.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

So this post is a bit early. It’s not autumn yet. Not for another week. In this region, mid-October is generally peak and the week before is delicious — as is the week after.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

I won’t give up until all the leaves have fallen, I promise.

This is MY season!

AUTUMN COMES TO NEW ENGLAND – #WRITEPHOTO – Marilyn Armstrong

Autumn Comes to New England – #writephoto

It is the end of September. Normally, we would be wrapped in the bright leaf colors for which New England is justly famous. Not so far.

We were at Manchaug a few days ago and everything was green.  We always look for the first color of the year along the water, but aside from some berries and a few yellow leaves, it was still deep summer green.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.

It seems to make the colors bright and show up sooner than anywhere else.

But it was green along the river on Tuesday. Today is Friday and it has been pouring for the past couple of days. Good news? The temperature is down and you can see bits and pieces of the season on its way.

Bad news? If it doesn’t stop raining soon, the leaves will turn yellow, then brown, then fall off the trees. Rain is just not the best thing for autumn colors.

Today, though I began to see — through the rain — the start of colors and even the occasional scarlet maple tree shining through the green. And finally, I saw a tree. Just one tree, mostly yellow with some red. I took pictures.

Considering how grim much of life has been, one bright tree made all the difference.

THE CHANGING SEASONS – SEPTEMBER 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, September 2018


Painted falls …
Rocks at Manchaug

It’s the very end of September here in New England, so it’s the middle of our best season, Autumn.

Except it isn’t Autumn.

The stone mill

The trees are entirely green without even a hint of red. A few yellow leaves on a few trees, but none of the colors we are supposed to have. We went and we sought for fall, but we could not find it. I was not by the river, which is the first place you usually find it … nor by the dam. Nor in the woods.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.
Lily pads. Not Monet,. Just me.

And we went down to another part of the valley, too. It wasn’t just Manchaug!
Photo: Garry Armstrong
And me, too – Photo: Garry Armstrong
The pond at Manchaug …. right before the dam. Photo: Garry Armstrong
Softly falling water – Photo Garry Armstrong
Graphic stone and falls – Marilyn Armstrong
Roses for our anniversary

So, not a red tree to be seen. Not even a bright yellow or slightly orange tree. Nothing at all. This was how it was last year, too. We finally got ONE week of Autumn. Then, all the leaves just fell off the tree. Kerplunk. End of Autumn.

I’m sure glad the seasons aren’t changing! I’d hate to lost whole seasons — like Autumn.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, Su-Leslie can update her post with links to all of your posts.

SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World 9-24-18

Rules

I will post four or five different questions each week for you to answer.  There are two ways in which you can participate:

Create a SYW  post.  Then post the link to your blog in my comment box or leave your answers in the comments box of my blog.

To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Share Your World”  and link it to this post.

Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly reminders.

 Ping-backs are activated and are working well.  For instructions on how ping-backs work, in case you weren’t certain, please click here.

I usually will respond to your entry on your blog, rather than on my page.  


Questions:

Last week I asked a question about favorite beverages and the overwhelming favorite was coffee.   If you drink coffee, how do you like it best?  Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black? 

Hot coffee almost always, although every once in a while, I get a yen for iced, but not the commercial stuff with all that whipped cream and sugar.

Always with cream or half-and-half and fake sugar (Splenda). I don’t use fake sugar for other things, but in hot drinks, I do because of the way my system works, sugar hits me hard and sometimes badly when in hot drinks.

Oddly, I drink tea with nothing in it at all, not milk or lemon or sugar. I also love green tea, especially with Asian food. Only real tea, not that new-age herbal stuff which isn’t tea. It’s something, just not TEA.

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?   

Computers and all of the things that go with them. Modern cameras and sound machines. I could probably live without cell phones, but I’m very good working with everything else.

I just don’t like new cell phones. Oddly, I liked the less smart ones back in the 90s. When you could make actual phone calls and hear what the other guy was saying.

Global warming?  Reality or myth?

The other day, Garry and I were driving around looking for Manchaug and I pointed out that this is the end of September and there is no sign of fall.

Summer has gotten longer and so has winter. Spring was never a big contender around here, but now, there’s really none at all. I have the pictures to prove it. This date even two or three years ago, half the trees were changing color and the nights were chilly while the days were crisp.

I have a closet full of cool weather jackets and coats that I don’t wear because it is summer — three days of cool weather — then the snow begins. Spring is cold. Sometime in April it stops snowing (usually), but the flowers we always got in May don’t show up until late June or even July. This year, we’ve had a re-blooming of daylilies (NEVER seen that before) and the rhododendrons re-bloomed, too.

When it finally got warm enough for the flowers, everything went into a hyper-growth mode. It was like summer in Alaska. Everything grew twice as fast as before, I suppose to make up for the missed months.

It has chilled down a lot in the past few days. I got up in the middle of the night and put on a flannel nightgown. I get cold more easily now than I used to. I think this is an aging thing. Garry gets cold too.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

We used to get at least a month and on a good year six to eight weeks of Autumn in New England. Around the middle of September, a cold snap. The leaves would almost overnight change color. At least we HAD fall. Last year we had ONE week. Just one. Summer dragged on well into October and finally, we got one great week, then the leaves just fell down. Plunk.

Good thing I took pictures.

It’s not the same every year, mind you. But the seasons have absolutely changed. Everyone notices. It’s hotter where it was always warm, but now it is hotter and stays hot longer. The fires burn longer. The storms are more intense and, as good old Donzo says, “wetter.” Never have I been gladder we moved from the coastline a bit inland. Not enough inland, though. These devastating rains will get to us, too. It’s not an if, just a when.

I don’t know what I expected from climate change. I didn’t expect the explosions of rain and snow and storms and fires. The unevenness of it. There is no sequential flow to the seasons now. Stuff just happens and it happens big. There are no little storms. Everything is over the top. Superstorms with the kind of rain we’ve never seen in our lifetime.

Is that enough climate change for you? It works for me. There is no debate on this. We are in the midst of something scary and dangerous — and we are making it much worse.

But that’s because we have a moron running our country.

Are you an explorer or more a homebody?

Both. I like to explore. Then I want to go home.

What were you grateful for this week? 

We found Manchaug!

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