Each fall, thousands of people from all over the world come to Maine to see the explosion of color that the New England states are famous for.
The most often asked question Richard and I get asked at the end of summer is “When is the best time to see fall colors?” Unfortunately, we cannot provide an exact answer. In general, based on our research, the peak supposedly comes in mid-October, but the best time may be anywhere from the first to the third week of the month. And some leaves start to change in late September. As October approaches and the temperatures start to cool, leaves begin to change color. The peak time of fall foliage in Maine also varies depending on weather conditions, and what part of the state you visit. Historically, however, it is typically during early to mid-October that the colors are most brilliant.
In an effort to assist our guests with the planning of their trips to see the colors here in the Boothbay Region and along the mid coast, Richard and I researched what resources were available and came to depend on a couple of sites in particular: the Maine Foliage Report (updated every Wednesday during season), Maine Department of Conservation http://www.MaineFoliage.com/ ; The Foliage Network http://www.foliagenetwork.com/; and Yankee Magazine’s foliage map http://www.yankeefoliage.com/live-fall-foliage-map/
So when the call came through the Maine Innkeepers Association to sign up to be an Official Fall Foliage Spotter this year for the Foliage Network, Richard and I signed on! The Foliage Network was developed to provide accurate foliage information for various locations across the United States. During the months of September, October, and November, the Foliage Network collects data from its foliage spotters twice a week. This data is collected, plotted, analyzed by The Foliage Network and translated into a user-friendly report which can be used by travelers to find the best foliage conditions in the Northeast in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA and VT; in the Southeast in MD, NC, TN, VA, and WVA; and in the Midwest in OH, MI, and WI.
Being a spotter is a lot of fun! Now I wish I could tell you it was like the “storm chasers” – you know that intrepid group of scientists and filmmakers who hunt down tornadoes to capture stunning severe weather video footage and gather valuable scientific data, but I can’t. Twice a week we do hunt down foliage around our neighborhood (the Boothbay Harbor Region, the Pemaquid Peninsula and other mid- coast Maine points) and Richard does photograph the subject at hand and I do record the whereabouts of the subject at hand, and while it has rained and it has been windy on occasion, we do not have to outrun the trees.
Sometimes we even reward ourselves with the occasional cappuccino smoothie from the Maine Coast Book Shop Café http://www.mainecoastbookshop.com/ in Damariscotta or a delicious cup of herbal tea from the café at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens http://www.mainegardens.org/ in our own backyard.
Fall is definitely here and the much anticipated fall colors that New England is famous for are also here: pinks, reds, golds, oranges and ambers like none other. Come experience Maine in the fall and be sure to check out our “Fall Foliage Special here at HII”! Now, I must dash – it’s time to go leaf-peeping …