Following a day of hard rain that brought down some leaves, nevertheless Northern Berkshire’s Fall Foliage Parade on October 5 in North Adams was well timed; the color is here and will only ripen through Columbus Day weekend. Likewise for the Greylock Ramble. The Town of Adams welcomes all on October 13 to climb southern New England’s highest peak. Hundreds will. Buses depart from downtown to the Cheshire Harbor trailhead.
One clue to how the season is progressing in Berkshire County is a several-acre triangular patch on the side of East Mountain, north of Rte. 2, visible from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Church Street in North Adams, and on up into Clarksburg. The younger trees in a former field turn color sooner. They have turned. Autumn has kept its promise.
The weather has brought cool nights and sunny, warm days. The color on the hills west (the Taconics) and east (the Hoosacs) looks good. Even in the valley, however, fully turned individual trees, many young maples planted along streets, stand as beacons—not to mention all the ‘mums homeowners have planted.
With only scattered frost, home gardens are still producing, farms stands remain open and farmers’ markets provide vegetables and conversation, reminding us how fortunate we are to live where climate conspires to provide luxurious growth; and reminding us that we are at the beginning of our annual autumnal excitement. The purple asters and goldenrod herald the change, yet nature hereabouts still projects a feeling of something about to happen, rather than something that’s waning.
For auto-tourists, your chief recommends Old Cheshire Rd., which follows the west side of Cheshire Reservoir (as opposed to Rte. 8, which follows the east side). The oranges and yellows have struck some big, old maples along there. Plus, you also get to drop by Lakeview Orchard’s pick-your-own apple trees, lined up like 18th century soldiers. Take Summer St. off Rte. 7 in Lanesborough.
The Mt. Greylock State Reservation Visitors Center in Lanesborough is an excellent destination: inside, a nifty exhibit about the mountain and the human activities relating to it; outside, the colors of fall, extending down a long slope to the Pittsfield lakes and the hills beyond.
For your safety, no peeping while driving! And, for heaven’s sake, get out of your car longer than the time it takes to snap a photo.
—Your Leaf Chief