An autumn sanctuary from the July-August Heat

Gold foliage in New Hampshire autumnAs is customary with us each fall, we are looking for a sanctuary from the July-August heat, on our way to family in the USA. The idea is not “to rest,” aka laze somewhere, but to travel and explore foreign territories. Still, the emphasis is on the weather, cool, please. At first, I thought to take advantage of the weather cooling and finally reach the southern states of America. Our way to these states is continuous, as we always talk about going there, yet we never arrive. We want to enjoy some jazz and country music and have a taste of the unique southern food, which is a combination of French, African and Mexican cuisine.

A moment before I began looking for flights I understood, fortunately, that in the south, even in September, it is still hot; Luckily, since storm Irma was also heading toward that location. I do not know why I never think about checking hurricane-threats before planning a trip to the USA. I recognize the phenomenon, I know it happens during the transition months of the year, Spring and Fall, so how come I don’t try to prevent our meeting. The single spot on our way to the states that is supposed to be cool is the north; So, we decided on Canada. We will turn northward, to the eastern cities where there’s a relative coolness, and perhaps, the hope had crept into my heart, we would find the colors of autumn, yet again.

The autumnal changing of leaves’ color phenomenon in Europe, in the states, in Japan and other places, has fascinated me for years, actually since I discovered it. As a kid growing up in Israel, a closed and isolated country (to this day I do not know whether by choice or compulsion), I have not experienced nor heard about the colored leaf in fall. We got to know the world through the colored postcards sent by those who had the good fortune to go abroad. The postcards displayed important classic sites. By the time I discovered the phenomenon I could not only enjoy the ravishing colors but could also appreciate mother nature’s ingenuity that causes it.

New Hampshire autumn forest blazing with yellow foliage

Trees keep their food in the leaves. Leaves, however, find it hard to endure the winter’s cold; The conclusion is that the leaves must fall. Nonetheless, the trees need to preserve its nutrients, just as the forest’s animals store food for the scant winter days. Thus, the trees “transfer” the nutrients from the leaves to the branches, where they will keep until spring. Then they will support not only their survival but also the new spring bloom. In order to transfer the food to the branches, the trees have to decompose the chlorophyll contained in the leaves, which gives the leaves their green color and, at the same time, interferes with the transfer action. Therefore, the trees remain with their original colors, which were concealed below the layer of the chlorophyll green paint. There are trees that instead of decomposing the chlorophyll layer, wrap it in a coat of paint, creating the colors of purple and crimson.

Once I realized that this was the fabulous autumn on which the poets and singers sang, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. So, a few years ago, we went to New England, one of the famous sites for its spectacular fall. In the United States, autumn colors are the ground for extensive domestic tourism. Fall tourism migrates after the advancement of exfoliation according to “Fall Foliage Maps.” We went to New Hampshire, a classic site to enjoy the colors of the fall; Indeed, the colors are amazing, yellow, orange, red, purple and crimson. Forest landscapes and towns change and seem to go up in flames (increase the pictures attached). But, the weather changes too, into a “pleasant coolness” as my man says, or freezing-cold, as I feel.

Red Foliage on Orléans Island, Quebec in autumnAs we arrived in Canada, we were greeted by warm weather, and I was agitated. I knew that in such weather I had no chance of finding my beloved foliage. Nevertheless, despite the high temperature’ we managed to enjoy some coolness in Quebec’s evenings and nights. It was enough for the leaves to change colors, and we met the spectacular colors of the foliage once again. As evidence, I attach a “fresh” picture of the Island of Orleans, near Quebec City. You are welcome to add notes about other places where you have met that gorgeous phenomenon and which are worth visiting to see this colorful foliage.

The last word: “No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace /
As I have seen in one Autumnal face.” John Donne

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