Goodbye New England Fall, Hello New England Winter

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I always really miss fall when it’s over. Fall is my favorite season, which is strange when you consider the fact that the most important day of the year — my birthday — is in the summer and my favorite holiday is Christmas (weird for an atheist, I know). Fall in the Northeast, as I’ve mentioned before, is especially grand.

So what is it about fall that’s so special? Some images and anecdotes that demonstrate:

The Colors

Sure, spring creates quite a show with its deep greens and pastel-hued blooms, but I have always preferred the warm reds, golds and browns that come with fall. Anyone who knows me well will know I’m not the most sunnily dispositioned person, so it makes sense that I’d prefer the understated, morbid beauty of hibernating trees to the ostentatious, come-hither blossoming of this orchid.

Northern Massachusetts’ Mohawk Trail region is easily one of the top-5 most beautiful places to visit if you find yourself in southern New England in the fall. The western portion of MA Route 2 offers spaghetti noodle curves and vertigo-inducing overlooks against a backdrop of fiery foliage.

The Weather

Who can argue with the warmth that summer brings? Obviously I’m going to. Sure, a lot of the time you’ll have a crystal-clear, tolerably-hot, lazy summer day. But you’re also probably going to have a lot of thunderstorms, tornadoes and temperatures that inch up into the low triple-digits. At least, that was my experience growing up in the Midwest. We don’t really have tornadoes in Connecticut, but we do have a hurricane season that starts in June and is likely to dump buckets of rain on you any time you’ve tentatively planned a weekend of fun-in-the-sun.

Fall is a little more predictable and a little less extreme — at least, it will be until global warming erases temperate seasons from our hemisphere. Early autumn is still warm enough for hiking, camping and outdoor brunches. But later in the season you can look forward more and more to those cold days that drive you inside for soup and cider. (Obviously I like the beverages of fall too).

The Holidays

I know I said my favorite holiday is Christmas, but Halloween is a close runner up. I’m not a religious person and I’m not a superstitious person, but I have always been fascinated by stories of spirits and witches and zombies. I love a good scare, and Halloween is about the only time an adult woman can binge on ghost stories without creeping out everyone else in the process. More than once I’ve ruined a good night’s sleep by turning on the Blair Witch Project at 11 p.m. (DON’T JUDGE ME) or lingering too long on r/nosleep or creepypasta.com. And beyond the obvious reason for the season, there’s just something in the air once October rolls around (a budding crispness, a slight chill) that makes me feel a tiny bit more alive.

And then once October transitions into November we’ve officially entered Thanksgiving season, or as I like to think of it: the Season of Pie. I can never understand how someone chooses team cake over team pie. You can put ANYTHING, savory or sweet, into a pie. You can’t say that about cake. Pie is a meal; cake is merely dessert. Heck — PIZZA is a pie, for cryin’ out loud. Especially if we’re talking about deep dish.

So there you go. Just some thoughts, from a person who likes to occasionally leave her thoughts on this blog. The long New England winter is here. We’d best get ready.

Fun fall day & weekend trips: 

North Adams, MA: Enjoy a leisurely morning drive along the Mohawk Trail (Route 2). Check out the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, then settle in for the best jambalaya in New England at The Hub.

Sleepy Hollow, NY: Visit the sites that inspired one of America’s most enduring literary legends. Tour Washington Irving’s home at Sunnyside, then head over to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Irving and other notables are buried.

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