Crazy Colors

Mooselookmeguntic Lake, northwestern Maine.

I’m an infonaut. I explore the vast universe of the internet to discover information and get my facts straight and solid. I like to get everything right. Including when the fall foliage is going to peak in New England.

Rangeley Lake, northwestern Maine.

Problem is, the universe is crazy.

My internet research indicated that the fall colors in northern New England would peak in late-September. Therefore, that’s when I planned a leaf-peeping trip for my wife and me. And I used the internet to make all the reservations, three months in advance.

Rangeley Lake, northwestern Maine.

But after traveling 2,611 miles by air, and a few hundred more by rental car from Boston to the rimlands of the Canadian border, we were surprised. We discovered that in spite of all my internet research three months before, the autumn colors were peaking late this year.


A changing tree in Jay, Vermont.

Why don’t autumn colors peak at the exact same time every year? In fact, why is it that nothing in life seems reliable? We can do tons of research, file our facts, and institute order. But then it all falls apart, because life is so crazy and unpredictable.

Changing foliage in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we were ripped off by mother nature. She was still beautiful. Her reds and purples were in near-full glory, and her yellows and oranges were just starting to show. We didn’t get much of the hills-on-fire effect from bright orange shining leaves, but at least we got a hint of it.

Mooselookmeguntic Lake, northwestern Maine, showing just a hint of the hills-on-fire effect.

This may sound crazy, but I like craziness. A completely predictable world would be completely boring. If I knew exactly what was going to happen to me, day in and day out, 24/7, 365.25 days per year, I’d have to shoot myself. I want strange, stupid, and undesirable things to happen to me. I don’t always want to get what I want. I think life must be challenging, unpredictable, and at least occasionally, a terrifying trip through hell.

So let the fall colors peak late. Or let them peak early, as they did last year. And just to surprise us tourists, let them peak on time once in awhile.

Rangeley Lake, northwestern Maine.

I think a little crazy is healthy. But a lot of crazy, maybe not. For example, research shows that abscission of leaves is necessary to prevent snapping of branches from the weight of a zillion snowflakes. If trees take too much time to change color and lose their leaves, an early blizzard could devastate them. So trees must be reasonable in their craziness.

Tupper Lake, in the New York Adirondacks.

But then again, maybe I’m crazy for thinking a lot of crazy is unhealthy. After all, if you want some real hardcore craziness, just consider that we humans, with all our intelligence, can’t predict the day of our death. You or I could die one second from now, or we could live for many more years. Who knows when our colors will change and our leaves will drop? Nobody.

But just think how boring our lives would be, if it was otherwise.

A changing tree at the end of an alley, in Salem, Massachusetts.

Untimely death, random rip-offs, miscommunication, and of course, mental illness, are all some of the craziness that can interfere with the course of our lives. From the car that won’t start, to the deal that falls through, to the underwear we accidentally put on backwards, we are enriched every day with craziness.

And so, as our rental car cruised down the country lanes of New England, I reflected on all the greenery powering through the reds, purples, yellows, and oranges. And I muttered, “Screw you, mother nature!”

But thank you, also.

Thanks for your magnificent craziness.

Green and orange foliage in the New York Adirondacks.

Categories: Nature

26 replies »

    • They are amazing. And not everything peaks at the same time. We saw some trees that were completely purple, though I don’t know what kind of tree they were. But we thoroughly enjoyed our trip in spite of missing most of the peak. New England is beautiful any time of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve got the right attitude, TG. Expect the unexpected. Embrace the crazy. Abhor predictable sameness. Stir things up.

    Looks like you did the Grand Tour ~ Maine, Mass, NY, VT. Glad you enjoyed fall’s tardiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful colors, Tippy. Maybe not peak, but I’m surely not disappointed. I always wonder how they “predict” such things. We’ve had years where there were no melons or strawberries or apples for the related festivals, so I guess the Farmer’s Almanac was off by a few weeks. What’s life without a few surprises? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Maybe they predict autumn colors and crop harvests the same way they predict the weather. By licking a finger and sticking it up in the air.

      Life’s little surprises can be disappointing and even harrowing, but they’re never boring.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed there were a few pine trees in Maine. I once lived in the Adirondacks of New York, and I remember a lot of pine trees there also. When the deciduous trees are gray and bare in the winter, those green pines keep the landscape looking alive, rather than totally bleak and dead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I looked at a local “autumn foliage” map just today and learned that my area is at peak. Say what? Every tree in my yard, and in my neighborhood, is still green. By the time the leaves change into those beautiful reds and oranges, the snow will start falling and autumn will be over. I’m actually ok with that this year since I don’t currently have a decent camera to take photos with anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoever makes those foliage maps needs to be fired. But I do know the Adirondacks were starting to burst forth with color a few weeks ago. And I think they’re just a few hours drive from Buffalo.


  4. I seemed to have gotten stuck at you putting your underwear on backwards…Ummm think you might need glasses?

    Just in case you can’t see to know, your pics are awesome. Sorry you didn’t get to see things in their full glory. There will be a next time for you I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m on the same page as you, Tippy. Unpredictable and unexpected should be celebrated – as long as no one gets hurt.

    Yesterday we went north to check out the colours. They were at peak and magnificent. The unexpected is that the weatherman was completely wrong. Instead of partly cloudy, it rained – definitely not the experience we were expecting.

    But every once in a while the sun would peek through the clouds and the world around us with light up like a torch. There was a certain sense of wonder in that experience. I’m sure the joy we felt at each sunburst far exceeded what a day of sunshine would have given us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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