Leaf Peepers

By Rebecca Thorsen / September 23, 2020

This past week Happy Hubby and I made a trip to West Virginia. When we left the leaves had that ‘look’, you know what I mean. Like something was about to happen. While, the trip home showed us what had happened. The leaves have begun to turn. Oh Happy Day! To celebrate I am reposting my ‘Leaf Peeper” post. Enjoy!

This past week I just missed hitting the back end of two cars because I was too busy taking in the glory of New England, the changing of the leaves.

My daughters came to visit this weekend and met with Peeper at the New York state line. What would normally take our Oldest 3 hours to get from Vermont, took her 4 ½ hours. Our Youngest was coming from Virginia and the weekend traffic added 2 ½ hours to her trip. While neither of them were feeling the traffic love, they both made separate comments about the ‘glorious colors’ in the White Mountains and the Hudson Valley.

I recognize that there are many states that are experiencing the changing of the leaves, and I am sure they believe they have the prettiest leaves in the whole world, and I will let them continue to believe that. However, do the people that come to their state have an official title? Because if you come to New England to view the leaves you are called a “Leaf Peeper”.

So, as I was saying, the Leaf Peepers make their trek up to the different states in New England to see the magnificent stages of the leaves. In Portland, ME, my local area, the peak foliage  is predicted to be October 13th. However, the leaves are pretty spectacular right now, hence the near miss of aforementioned automobiles.

On September 21st the calendar told us that Fall was upon us, but it really wasn’t necessary because all you had to do was look outside to see the season change. If you listen closely and your car is parked outside, you may hear an acorn drop on the roof of said car. In the South they have car damage from hailstorms; in Maine our damage comes from acorns as they try to distract us from the tissue-paper-like art that is the leaves plastered all over the front and back windshields.

So we get into our modes of transportation, happy that we were not beaned on the head by largest acorn to fall from the sky this season. Thus the acorn’s distraction is a success and we don’t pay attention to said art work… until our windshield wipers are dragging the mess of majestic foliage across the window until only the stems are left, which are now caught under the wipers, and will remain there until you get out of the car to remove them. Hoping that you don’t get hit on the head by the second largest acorn of the season.

In the end Fall compensates us for the mess. All you have to do is peek out of that now-relatively-clean window to see the reds, the yellows, the oranges and even the dark greens of Fall, and you know that this is why the Winters of New England are worth every snowflake.

In fact, a hard-snowy cold winter makes the trees stronger, a wet muddy spring makes for healthy green leaves and a warm sunny summer makes for a good tourist season and beautiful Fall foliage.

Therefore, the seasons in Maine are properly named: Winter, Mud, Bug, and Tourist. So, when it is time to get out there and shovel snow this Winter, as my Happy Hubby always says: “Suck it up, Cupcake!” You will be rewarded with the grandeur of next year’s New England Fall.

Let us not forget that some of the prettiest leaves come from the apple trees that are hanging heavy with their fruit during Leaf Peeping Season. Many ‘driving tours’ throughout the countryside involve roadside stands or ‘you pick’ orchards and sometimes both. Many stands have fresh apple cider, which in my humble opinion is an amazing treat. Should you have an opportunity to partake in ‘the ritual’ of pressing apples I strongly recommend it; you will appreciate the flavor of the cider even more. If by chance your trip involves an overnight stay you will probably have a few chances to consume a slice of warm apple pie; ice cream on top is always optional (my favorite is any kind of vanilla) or apple cider doughnuts, which are usually served warm.

Please enjoy your trip, and always remember to pull over when taking those spectacular pictures; I don’t think the fine police officers of New England will consider “I’m a Leaf Peeper” to be a sufficient excuse for running into the car in front of you!



About the author

Rebecca Thorsen