As the warm summer breeze gives way to the cooler, crisp air of fall, changes in nature occur noticeably around us. The leaves turn from greens to yellows, then reds, then browns, and ultimately fall to the ground to become one with the earth. I love watching the leaves change from day to day during the fall, and last week I had the opportunity to see how these changes happen up the east coast of the US – and then some. Beginning with Philadelphia where the leaves had hardly shown a hint of change, I took a drive up north to Maine and then on to Vermont, documenting the leaves as they appeared to change colors right before my eyes. Read on to see the beauty I experienced – and find out how you can win a $100 FP gift card, as well as a credit with Social Print Studio to have your Instagram photos printed!
I started my journey in the early morning. The sun, which had just risen, was shining bright, beating through my windows and onto my skin. I started the day with Lord Huron coming through my speakers and a smile on my face. I was excited for what was to come, yet somewhat nervous about the lengthy drive ahead.
I began my drive from Philadelphia, traveled through New Jersey, and New York, and made my first stop in Hamden, Connecticut. Driving through — as I had suspected — I was surrounded by green leaves. It seemed that the trees were holding onto summer as best as they could. I spotted a yellow leaf here and there, but they were few and far between.
I continued north, through Massachusetts, and made a second stop at the Great Bay in New Hampshire. I thought for sure I’d find some fully red and yellow trees here – New Hampshire just south of Maine! – but what I came across were trees with green leaves, just sprinkled with bits of yellows, reds, and oranges here and there.
After admiring the tiny bursts of color, I went around and gathered a handful of colored leaves, and then made my own fall-colored tree, inspired by the work of this artist.
Then it was time to get back on the road! I kept traveling northbound until I reached Camden, Maine. The sun had already gone down by the time I arrived, so I headed straight to an inn, not knowing whether or not I’d find more colorful foliage when I woke up! Come morning, I found many green trees, and some with leaves of slight reds and yellows – similar to those in new Hampshire.
I was determined to be surrounded by fall foliage, though, so I knew I had to continue my road trip! After doing a bit of research, I discovered that there are actually fall foliage maps (like this) that show you where you’ll find leaves with the most color. You can even click on a certain location and see recent foliage images taken at that particular spot! I saw that I could find leaves at their peak near Brighton State Park in Vermont, so that’s exactly where I went.
As I drove, I watched the leaves change right in front of me. I came upon a beautiful waterfall, stopped to admire some cows, and sang my way to Vermont. I took one or two long, windy roads, with some of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever experienced. It’s such a mind trip to watch how the trees that line the road seem to fly by at top speeds, while the mountains and hills in the distance just ever-so-slightly creep up to you, a tiny bit at a time.
Five hours — and no cell phone service — later, I arrived at my destination. And the leaves were just gorgeous. They ranged from greens to reds, to oranges, to yellows, to browns, all at once. Some fell to the ground, while others clung to their branches. Here, I felt that it was truly fall.
This trip was an enlightening experience that allowed me to have a first-hand look at nature taking its course in different sections of the Northeast. Seeing the progression of foliage from green to turning to moderate to peak made me very excited to go back home to Philly, where I could observe the leaves as they change around me, little by little, day by day – and we want you to do the same!
From now until 10/8, take a photo of the beautiful foliage that surrounds you – wherever you may be – and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #FPFollowTheLeaves. We will choose a winner who will be chosen based on the photo we find most inspiring. The winner will receive a $100 Free People gift card, a credit with Social Print Studio to have their Instagram photos printed, and they’ll have their winning photo featured on the Free People Instagram! We can’t wait to see all the gorgeous photos you’ll submit. Good luck and happy fall!
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