Free fallin’: Autumn forecasts
There are more vacant seats on Proctor terrace, especially at breakfast. Wearing shorts and complaining about it might get you a reprimand like “It is almost October in Vermont.” The first Middlebury trees shed their summer foliage. There’s candy corn in the Adirondack House reception area.
It’s the autumn equinox, September 21. Forecast for the next three months: cooler temperatures, shorter days, and really pretty colors.
As the map from the Vermont Department of Tourism to the right indicates, fall colors have yet to come out in full strength here.
“The cooler weather has lowered water temperatures in marshy areas, causing soft maples to show bright early color,” said Tom Olson, a foliage spotter from Rutland and southern Addison counties. “In the higher elevations, fall color will start to progress quickly into the early stages.” [source]
According to online forum speculators, however, hotter and drier summers, as was the Vermont summer this year, early drop from maple trees equals duller, less brilliant fall foliage overall.
Though a year removed from my last Vermont foliage season, I remember Fall Family Weekend (October 8-10 this year) falling just a week too early for my family visitors. Maybe the hot summer and early color-changes bode well, then, for our parents to get in on the leaf action.
Mid-week trips off campus to explore the foliage before it is in full form are not efficient. Instead, try a video clip from Old Duck Pond Road in Sheffield, Vt. set to cheesy inspirational music.