In New England October and Vermont are forever linked.  October is mother nature’s final fireworks show before the long cold realities of winter take over.  Real or a product of tourism marketing skill, it seems mother nature has chosen Vermont to host her party every autumn.  Not all Octobers are created but most seem to please.  A spectacular season requires everything to go right, warm sunny days followed by cold crisp nights, add the right amount of rain and even the bugs need to do their part.   When these elements come together the results can be magical and even when they don’t it can still be pretty nice.  It’s all in the eye of the beholder and the Vermont Tourism board, since it is they that get to inform the rest of the world how autumn is progressing.  It is often said that the difference between a good foliage year and a not-so-good year is a matter of effort.  In a good season little effort is required to see spectacular color, it surrounds you.  In a not-so-good year more effort is required, you will need to go find it.

The 2017 foliage season had a little bit of everything and at times needed a bit of effort to find the prize.   The season started promisingly with some early color in the first half of September which  naturally lead to predictions that a banner season lie ahead.  Then mother nature slammed on the brakes with a prolonged stretch of summer-like weather that made visiting crowds dream of water skiing and barbecues, not pumpkins and apple picking.   It wasn’t all bad, and as the season switched from early to late things started to happen.  Many parts of the state accustomed  to leaves on the ground by the first week of October instead had full trees for weeks later.  Those leaf-peepers that had reluctantly booked after the Columbus Day weekend would be rewarded with a late blooming and long lasting show.  While tropical weather was very active and destructive down south, New England was spared any destructive autumn storms early on.

The 2017  season was left to make of it what you could.  It depended where you were and when you were.  I enjoyed my time up north in early October and by mid-month lower Vermont.  Shown below are some of my favorites from this season.



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This year’s autumn photo trip was four days in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.   A name affectionately coined by a Vermont State senator back in the 1940’s to describe the upper northeast corner of the state.  I also included visits to Groton Stater Forest and the surrounding towns of Peacham and Marshfield.  These places while not technically in the Northeast Kingdom, are just a short drive and often offer plenty of photographic opportunities and the annual foliage progression seems to be in lock step with the Kingdom.  All of these areas seem to hit peak foliage glory  during the first few days of October every year.  My trip was from October 3rd to October 7th.

The foliage in central and northern Vermont was excellent this year.  Probably the best in years.  The reds were vibrant and the weather was cooperative, making for excellent photography conditions.  All that was left was for me to use this pick of good fortune to my advantage.  Just because the foliage and weather conditions were optimal does not mean that I am up to the challenge.  Mother Nature did her part but do have the experience and effort to benefit from it?  The answer is I do not know, I hope so because next year the conditions may not be as conducive.

The equipment used for this trip was my relatively new Fujifilm X-T2 and the X-T1.  The lens of choice for most of the photos was the 16 -55 f2.8.  Although I do like to use the 10 – 24 mm f4 and the 50 -140 mm f2.8.  I use these three the most when traveling because they offer an nice focal range of 10 – 140 mm (15 – 210 mm APS adjusted).  I occasionally will also use the 35 mm f2 for its image quality and small size.  When placed on the X-T2 or X-T1 it gives the camera a rangefinder like quality.







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