I’ve waited a while for this! The time year when the days get shorter, the nights get cool, and the leaves start to change.
This year the foliage seems to be particularly vibrant. For a brief science lesson, stay tuned, or you can just skip ahead….The secret recipe to great fall foliage is, cool nights, which start the transition of the tree to their dormant cycle. The photosynthesis of the leaves starts to die, which turns them yellow. That is a naturally occurring phenomena. The tricky part is getting the leaves to turn red. In order for them to turn red, you need bright sunny days the same time as the cool nights. The sun actually causes a chemical reaction with the nutrients in the leaves that changes them to red. This year the weather has been perfect for leaf season!
I’ve headed out early a several times over the past couple of weeks. My first day I was greeted with overcast skies so the shooting wasn’t great. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a quiet walk in the woods and some hot coffee on a cool morning. As the week carried on and the leaves continued their transformation the weather was more corporative.
October came in with an amazing sunrise over a small pond. The cold night allowed for some fog to form on the surface of the water making the sunrise that much more impressive.
Morning fog over the pond
October’s first sunrise
Every sunrise and morning are different, on my way to my next outing I noticed the horizon looked as though it was on fire. I made a detour to the top of a hill at a local apple orchard and took a few photos of the pre-dawn glow.
Twilight and the moon
Once the orange was getting washed out and the sky started getting brighter I made my way to another local spot. I spent a while walking the woods looking for a nice spot with some good color before sunrise. Unfortunately, the location I was at had very few deciduous trees so there was no foliage. On my way back I found a perfect spot that highlighted the colors of fall in New England.
Red, yellow, and green. The colors of fall
My most recent shoot was the best of the week. A partly cloudy sky made for some good color in the sky and the foliage is near its peak. I had planned to photograph an old stone church that has some amazing trees, but again, got distracted on my drive and had to make a pit stop at this stunning location. The reflection of the sky in the water stopped me in my tracks. I quickly turned around and fought through some pucker-brush to capture this image.
Worth the struggle though the brush
After getting a couple of images I made my way back to the car and continued on to the church. As I arrived at my location I was once again drawn in a different direction. The calm waters of the Wachusett Reservoir and reflecting red sky made me change my plans, I just couldn’t resist a sunrise over the water!
10 seconds before the sun peaked over the trees
Just before sunrise on Wachusett Reservoir
The sky was amazing for sunrise, however once the sun gained some height in the sky it quickly was obscured by the clouds. It did manage to peak through though, and the dark clouds to the west provided a nice contract of a backdrop. I spent some time photographing the brilliant color of the trees between bursts of sun.
Eventually I made my way over to the old stone church and was able to walk away with an image I’m pretty pleased with. I would have liked the water to have been calmer, but overall it was a great morning out!
West Boylston Old Stone Church
Fall in New England is an amazing thing. The next week or so will be the highlight of the season. Enjoy the nice weather, take a hike, grab your camera and get out there.
I’ll be in the White Mountains this weekend, from what I’ve seen they are at the peak, hopefully I’ll have some great images to share when I get back. For now, here are a few more local shots!