Autumn in Vermont is full of brilliant, intense, dazzling color. Have you experienced it? Of course, all of New England has colorful fall leaves. Yet, Vermont’s fall colors somehow seem to top them all. We are fortunate to have a large number of sugar maples (which also makes us the lucky recipients of maple syrup – also known as liquid gold up here.) Now, it’s a beautiful state to begin with. But when you throw in hillsides bursting with color, even folks who have lived here all of their lives will exclaim how gorgeous it is. In fact, they become tourists in their own state! It’s a wonderful transformation. Fall foliage doesn’t happen one day, or one week for that matter. It’s a lovely, slow transition that has beauty every step of the way. It starts in different parts of the state at different times. For instance, the leaves in the Northeast Kingdom might be at “peak,” when they’re only just beginning to change along the Connecticut River Valley. For me, it’s a somewhat bittersweet time of year. I love watching those first leaves just starting to change. The air is getting cooler. The mornings downright chilly! The distant smell of wood smoke letting you know that someone has decided to get the chill off that morning, and then the day warms up perfectly so you can be outside enjoying the beauty. Before you know it, those trees with just a few colorful leaves then brighten up. More leaves are now yellow and orange instead of green. Another week may go by and before you know it, the roads, the yards and the hillsides are all ablaze in full yellow, orange and red splendor. Bright colors are set against a bluebird sky – sunshine setting all ablaze with color. It’s pretty darn amazing. The bittersweet part? Autumn in Vermont doesn’t last forever! And once that beautiful fall foliage has left us, it’s about six months before we see new spring growth again. Winter is gorgeous, of course, and the skiing is wonderful. There is just something magical about fall foliage in Vermont. Treat yourself, and come join us this year for autumn in Vermont!
The technical stuff: The trees “know” about getting ready for winter when the days get shorter and shorter. Since there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis during winter, the trees rest and live off of the food they stored during the summer. As they begin to shut down their summer food-making, the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves, and we begin to see the yellow, orange and red colors. These colors have been in the leaves all along, but during the summer they are covered by the green chlorophyll.
Discovery Bicycle Tours: If you’d like to experience Vermont’s fall foliage by bicycle, please give us a call at 800-257-2226 or visit us online at www.discoverybicycletours.com. We’d love to have you join us on tour! For more information, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.