This bright yellow sassafras was one of the few spots of color in the woods

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, with the last days of summer slipping by without a chance to enjoy them. So now it’s officially autumn, and the leaves have begun to turn.

The Vermont and New Hampshire papers say they expect an unusually spectacular foliage season. It certainly doesn’t seem like it will be down here. A dry spell has caused a lot of trees to cast off their leaves early. The colors are muted.
Foliage reports around here tend to be like ski reports. Have you ever heard anyone say the skiing’s no good, don’t bother coming?

I took a walk this afternoon through the woods around Pearl Brook and Willard Brook state forests in Townsend. I felt like seeing something different, so at one point I took off down an unmarked path I’d never been on before. It looped pleasantly through a section I hadn’t been in. There was nothing different in the landscape, no new spectacular brooks or waterfalls, but for me there was still a sense of newness that I found exhilarating. I made a mental note to force myself to go to different places, rather than trooping along the same old trails. I tend to fall into a rut, literally, especially when I get busy.