On October 5, 2023

Living the Dream: Foliage: Beauty before death

Oh man, do I wish autumn lasted longer. Or that the days were longer within the season. I cannot get enough of this absolutely perfect fall weather that we’ve been having. I mean, driving to work every morning I think this must be peak and then the next day is even brighter and more full of color. How can that be? How can each day be absolutely more gorgeous than the day before? The reds we were told weren’t going to pop this fall are glowing full and bright, reminding us how special and unique our maple trees are.

You have to steal fall while you can get it. This past Monday, thinking that it might be peak, I called my mom at 9am and told her I was picking her up for a foliage tour at 11 a.m. I told her to drop everything and we could sneak out for the day on a ladies trip around Vermont while the colors were at their most vibrant — or at least the weather was. We drove for quite a few hours, exploring Lincoln and Mad Gaps, and stopping for a quick lunch at Mad Taco in Waitsfield. 

I never wanted it to end. We would drive a few miles with the dullest browns and then come around a corner to be shocked with a vibrant wall of color on the side of a mountain. You never knew quite when the colors would hit you or where they would be. It seems almost like this year the foliage is playing a game of hide and seek, not making any sense about elevation or latitude. Instead, it seems to be popping where it feels like it. Making us work for it a little bit, forcing us to explore the side and mountain roads of Vermont, rather than sticking to the big highways and byways.

But we are more than roads. So much more. After a quick couple of hours on my front porch office, I texted a friend to meet me at Kent Pond for sunset. I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful fall weather and couldn’t sit at my desk any longer. I needed to be surrounded by the foliage and the best place for that is always that 100 acre lake in the middle of town. Paddlers come from all over Vermont to photograph this lake at all hours of the day, to float around surrounded by water and trees on all sides. And those of us who live here are no different. We bumped into friends taking in the gloriousness on all shores, from half-moon cove to the causeway. 

Oh man, do I wish autumn lasted longer. Or that the days were longer within the season. I cannot get enough of this absolutely perfect fall weather that we’ve been having. I mean, driving to work every morning I think this must be peak and then the next day is even brighter and more full of color. How can that be? How can each day be absolutely more gorgeous than the day before? The reds we were told weren’t going to pop this fall are glowing full and bright, reminding us how special and unique our maple trees are. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am super stoked for winter and can feel the changing of the air and the wind and will rejoice when the leaves fall and the snow guns turn on. But there is something magical about foliage. A beauty right before death, a time when we should be mourning their loss of leaves we can only remark on their greatness. Last Wednesday, I skipped out on work to summit Camel’s Hump (about 90 minutes) and relished in being a part of the mountain for a few strenuous miles until I hit the stunning summit and could only see the trees changing below me. 

Another stolen moment, a quick decision the night before based on an opening in my calendar and the beauty of the world around me. But we must be sure we don’t miss this time of year. When so many people from around the world come to our little state of Vermont to see the beauty that surrounds us, we must take the time to look as well. To take the day or the afternoon off, to hike up for a sunset or wake in the dark for a sunrise paddle. The amount of time doesn’t matter – it could be a morning coffee outside on the front porch, but be sure to surround yourself with color this foliage season.

Practice your powers of observation and truly notice that which is around you. Enjoy the leaves – but most especially, look out for motorcycles.

Merisa Sherman is a long-time Killington resident, local Realtor, KMS Coach and bartender. She can be reached at femaleskibum@gmail.com.

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