Photo above: Boston, MA in the Fall (Wiki Commons)
Here in New England we have this amazing happening that Yankees call foliage (and I’m not referring to the New York Yankees).
- Yankee: Within the United States, it usually refers to people from the north, largely those from the Northeast, but especially those with New England cultural ties, such as descendants from Colonial New England settlers, wherever they live. Its sense is more cultural than literally geographic.
- Within Southern American English, “Yankee” refers to Northerners, or those from the regions of the Union side of the American Civil War.
When Fall descends upon New England, for us, it’s the transition from summer to winter, it’s Fall. The colder temperatures start to settle in, and this amazingly beautiful spectacle of the leaves turning colors begins, and we refer to that as “foliage,” as in “isn’t the foliage beautiful?”
The leaves turn bright yellow, pumpkin orange, and cherry red, and any variation of those colors, and of course the green of the pine trees mix in. When all the trees are turning in clusters, you see an amazing array of colors and beauty that is something to behold, walking, driving, riding a bike, motorcycle, or on a horse (my personal favorite).
The foliage season is fleeting, because the trees are shedding their leaves, getting ready for winter. All those beautifully colored leaves eventually end up on the ground. Now, not so beautiful.
In comes the Fall chore of raking leaves; I say chore, some people actually enjoy it. I enjoy it for an hour or so, then, not so much. Depending on the size of your property, it can be a daunting task. So, enjoy them while they are on the trees and before they cause you angst at all the raking ahead of you before the snow flies.
Along with foliage and Fall, comes pumpkin patches that have been thriving and are now prime for the picking in preparation for Halloween — pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies. Roam freely through the pumpkin patches and pick your own; I pick the ones that will be great for carving.
Pumpkin carving is so easy nowadays. First you cut the top off, like a cap, and clean out the inside. Then you get a scary (or not, but I prefer scary) stencil, trace it on there, and start carving. When it’s carved, you can put a candle inside and it’s beautifully scary. Welcome Halloween!
With Halloween comes “trick-or-treating.” When we were kids, it was such an amazing night. There were kids everywhere, running around with their pillow cases, or plastic jack-o-lanterns collecting candy door to door. Everyone was dressed up. I have great memories of this day, running around with my childhood friends, without a care in the world.
Having candy for weeks after wasn’t so bad either … maybe that’s where I formed my love of/addiction to candy. The only thing we had to throw out were the apples, because there were instances about razor blades being put into apples. Nobody had to worry about us eating an apple; we were out for the candy.
There are also hayrides being offered during the fall at local farms, or fairs. It’s just a good country thing to do, and a nice way to spend a weekend day. You and your friends or family, climb into the wagon, it may have bench seats, or you might actually sit on hay bales if you’re lucky, a horse or two will pull this wagon along a wooded trail.
You sit, relax and admire the foliage and the peace of the horses’ hooves, click-clacking away. If it’s a chilly night, they’ll have blankets on board. It’s a nice way to spend some time, have some laughs, and make some memories.
Some farms also offer corn or hay mazes, where they carve out trails through the cornstalks or hay, and you can go through the maze and try and find your way out. Hopefully you have a great sense of direction!
Apple picking is another popular Fall event. Throw on your sweatshirt, and hit the orchards. You can pick some extra apples and make some apple pies for Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner once Fall hits. And don’t forget the real apple cider!
My absolute favorite thing to do in the Fall is horseback riding. It’s enjoyable for rider and horse. No bugs, no heat, no ice, beautiful foliage enhancing the trails; you can’t ask for more.
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” — Winston Churchill
Fall is a great time to visit New England. It’s the perfect season; not too hot, not too cold, just right, like Goldilocks porridge.
Lisa Ferrari is a lifelong New Englander who drives a Subaru, not a Ferrari. She is originally from Somerville, MA, a great city just on the outskirts of the big little city of Boston, MA. Lisa loves the East Coast and now resides in the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire. A horse enthusiast, dog lover, and loyal Patriots fan, Lisa works for a car dealership to pay the bills, and writes whenever she has a spare moment.