Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By Ray Routhier email@example.com
The leaves will turn. And we will all peep.
Interested in photographing foliage? On sunny days, look for early light or late light to capture colors best.
You also might try shooting near water to take advantage of reflections.
Here’s a quick foliage guide to some trees commonly found in Maine, and how to identify them:
• Red oak – Leaves turn red to scarlet, usually in the middle of foliage season; commonly found along rivers, especially the Androscoggin.
• Red maple – Turns red or scarlet, usually the first trees to turn fall colors; often found bordering wet or muddy areas.
• White oak – Colors range from yellow to brown, with trees turning in the middle of the season; common in the state’s western mountains.
• Poplar – Leaves turn yellow and the color stays longer than with most trees; trees are found in just about every type of landscape.
• Scarlet oak – Not as big as red oaks, but with very bright red foliage; used as a landscape tree, so they’re easy to spot along roads and in town centers
WHAT'S THE FORECAST?
Before heading out on a leaf-peeping excursion, know when peak color will be for that locale. You can do this easily by checking out the state's weekly foliage forecasts at mainefoliage.com. New ones come out every Wednesday.
"From the pictures our forest rangers have been sending me, I think we're on track for a typical peak around Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 6-8) in the western mountains, and maybe the third full week of October (beginning around Oct. 13) in coastal and very southern Maine," said Gale Ross, who compiles the weekly forecasts for the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. "We haven't had a big storm to take down leaves like last year, so it looks like we're in for a good season."
But is that where it ends?
It doesn't have to. In fact, it shouldn't. Fall foliage season in Maine is not just about looking at all the pretty colors, it's about DOING things surrounded by, and inspired by, all the pretty colors. So to help you take full advantage of leaf-peeping season, we've arranged a veritable cascade of falling ideas about foliage viewing. We'll offer tips on where to find the most dramatic views, where to take a colorful hike, how to take the best foliage photos, where to grab a foliage-friendly treat and how to check the weekly color forecasts.
So take a peek and let the peeping begin.
Here are a few helpful foliage photo pointers gleaned from Maine photographers:
• Enjoy the cloudy days, as they might give you more contrast and sharper pictures than photos taken in bright sun.
• Look for water -- rivers, lakes, ponds -- to add reflection and interest.
• On sunny days, early light and late light are probably best for pictures.
• Add some people. Sometimes, the best foliage shots have people, animals and action, not just pretty leaves.
TAKE A HIKE
The state's division of Parks and Public Lands is planning several expert-led foliage hikes this fall, including:
• 10 a.m. Saturday, Bradbury Mountain State Park, 528 Hallowell Road, Pownal. Moderate, one-hour hike.
• 1 p.m. Oct. 13, Vaughan Woods State Park, 28 Oldsfield Road, South Berwick. An easy, one-hour family walk with a focus on trees and ecology.
• 1 p.m. Oct. 14, Camden Hills State Park, 280 Belfast Road, Camden. A moderate, 2.5-hour trip up Mount Battie, with ocean views.
Park admission fees apply to all hikes. For more information, go to parksandlands.com.
A few spots most Mainers agree have spectacular foliage views:
• Height of Land, Route 17, Township D, north of Rumford. An extremely popular rest spot on a high point of land, overlooking Mooselookmeguntic Lake.
• Screw Auger Falls, Grafton Notch State Park, Route 26, Grafton Township, north of Bethel. Waterfalls, mountains, trees.
• Wyman Lake, Route 201, Moscow. Another incredible view. It's where the Kennebec River and Wyman Lake merge, north of Skowhegan.
And if you're looking for ideas on loops or routes to drive -- where you can see foliage, charming villages, and quaint towns -- check out the touring loops suggestions at visitmaine.com/seasons/fall/touring. A few include Route 302 in Naples, Route 133 in Livermore Falls and Route 209 from Bath to Phippsburg.
TIME TO EAT THE DOUGHNUTS
All those leaves making you hungry? Here are a couple of suggestions for places along the way that make the ingredients for a classic autumnal treat -- apple cider and cider doughnuts:
• Thompson's Orchard, 276 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester. 926-4738; thompsonsorchard.com
• Libby & Son U-Picks, 86 Sawyer Mountain Road, Limerick. 793-4749; libbysonupicks.com
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:
click image to enlarge
To really get out and see the fall colors, consider places like Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park.
click image to enlarge
And if you get hungry and thirsty after your day of taking in Maine’s foliage, consider a seasonal treat of apple cider or cider doughnuts.