We took a trip to Massachusetts over the weekend which included a foray across the state line into southern New Hampshire. These images are from wetlands near Winchester related to the Ashuelot River. The Ashuelot, as it turns out, flows into the Connecticut River on the Vermont border, which eventually empties into LI Sound only a few “crow miles” from where we live. While walking on a beach near Montauk a few years ago I found a plastic sign from a nature preserve in Keene NH (very near where I took these pictures). Amazingly, it had worked it’s way down the Connecticut River to end up on a saltwater beach on eastern Long Island.
Southwestern New Hampshire is not the location of the White Mountains and it’s safe to say it’s not the part of the state that attracts all the tourists. In spite of that, it’s pleasant here and the region has much going for it, not the least of which is a great deal of biodiversity. The same thing can be said of the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts from the Quabbin reservoir west to the Berkshires.
With respect to the foliage this fall, the reports of a “dull” year seem to be true; but only if it’s being evaluated against most people’s expectations. Chasing “peak” colors around the north country is a good way to get frustrated, and with respect to photography, has never made much sense. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that the intensity of leaf color matters a lot less than whether it’s cloudy or windy. Plus, there are situations when faded colors work.
The bottom line is, don’t let anyone convince you to stay home on a dull year for foliage.
What I found over the weekend was that a subdued fall can result in a delicately colored pallet. The Ashuelot wetlands in the early morning fog were full of colors that would’ve been ruined on a more saturated year.