Fall foliage

A spectacular year for fall foliage.

This fall brought us some of the most intense fall foliage we’ve ever seen, in three decades of living in the upper valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. When we had a seriously long drought this August, so many were concerned about a potentially disappointing fall-foliage season, but we’ve experienced quite the opposite! Don’t miss the full gallery.

The trees around our home in their fall foliage; Lyme NH.

Farnum Hill

A late-fall outing in a forest close to home.

This weekend’s outing was a mild hike across the ridgeline of Farnum Hill, in nearby Lebanon, NH. Its trails stroll along the rolling hilltop on an 820-acre reserve managed by the city as a space for wildlife and recreation. Here at the end of October (Halloween morning!) these hardwood forests were mostly bare, with a colorful carpet of fallen leaves covering the forest floor. I walked out and back along the spine of this ridge, enjoying the sunshine of a late-fall morning and the crisp crunch of barely-frozen leaves along the trail.

A late-October snowfall mingles with the fall foliage along the trail in Lebanon, NH.

The trail begins at a marker noting the historic King’s Highway, “the first planned colonial road in Lebanon”, and now a class-VI woods-road suitable for walkers and skiers.

The trail begins along the historic King’s Highway in Lebanon, NH.

A light dusting of snow on the fir trees recalled the early snow that drifted through the morning before.

A late-October snowfall dusts the fir trees along the trail in Lebanon, NH.

A small critter walked along top a snowy log, not too long before I did.

A critter had made its way along a snow-covered log.

Hike stats:
distance: 10.3km round-trip
time: 2h20m
gain: 367m

Holts Ledge

Hiking from fall to winter.

After yesterday’s brief snowfall the weather turned warm and sunny once again, allowing us a beautiful fall afternoon. This morning we woke to dense river-valley fog, so I headed across Lyme to the Dartmouth Skiway and the high point of Holts Ledge. There, well above the fog, I encountered brilliant foliage at the base and an impressive 2″ snowcover on the exposed slopes near the top. Here is one photo from the top, showing Holts Ledge at left and the peaks of Moosilauke, Cube, and Smarts left to right – but don’t miss the gallery for six other full-res photos in brilliant color.

View of Holts Ledge with (L to R) Moosilauke, Cube, and Smarts, with waves of fall foliage below.

Hike stats:
distance = 5.9km
gain = 353m
time = 1h 37m (including photo stops)

First snowfall

Brief but beautiful.

It rained all day yesterday, and rained hard all night long. At first light today, I looked out the window to see blobs of snow falling amongst the raindrops. Although the air temperature was above freezing, it must have been cold higher up. The snow/rain mix continued for about an hour, with little of the snow sticking to the warm, wet ground. It’s a beautiful sight, and also a reminder that the warm side of fall weather may be with us only for a few more weeks.

Season’s first snowfall at home.
A few snowflakes cling to the fallen leaves.

Mt. Israel

A beautiful hike through fall foliage.

Today was another spectacular fall day in New Hampshire. I enjoyed a lovely early-morning drive across the rolling hills of center-western portion of the state, around Squam Lake, and past the trailhead for my prior Morgan-Percival hike, to the pretty village of Center Sandwich. My destination was Mt. Israel, seen in photo of fall colors above a roadside wetland. Read on and check out the gallery.

A pretty roadside view on Rt113 in NH. A shoulder of Mt. Israel peeks out at right.
Continue reading “Mt. Israel”

Woodland wanderings

Sunday morning in the woods.

Today I spent a good portion of the morning wandering the woodlands of Lyme. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, the trees were bursting with color, and I was scrambling over moss-covered stone walls in the midst of historic farm country. If there is a better way to spend a Sunday morning, I can’t think of one. Read on and check out the gallery.

The fall colors are bursting forth this week.
Continue reading “Woodland wanderings”

Morgan and Percival

A beautiful hike through fall foliage to summits that overlook Squam Lake.

The trail sign gave me two choices to reach the summit – via the caves or via the cliffs. Well, I picked the caves of course! Little did I know that the trail would in one place make me squeeze through a passage so narrow I’d need to remove my pack, and that in another place the trail would actually cross over itself like a corkscrew. Read on and check out the gallery for more photos of Mount Morgan and Mount Percival, during fall-foliage season!

View from Mt. Percival, with Mt. Morgan at right and Squam Lake below..
Continue reading “Morgan and Percival”

Autumn colors

A selection of the best photos of the season.

This trip is not far from home – just into the interior of Lyme, our own hometown. Every week during the fall the kids went to riding class; on this particular day, I think we hit peak fall colors.  While the kids did their riding, I took a few hundred photos.  See a small selection of my favorites in a photo gallery.

Fall colors in Lyme NH.

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