Like many of us, I have been hunkered down at home for a long time. I go from the house to work, and back, with an occasional trip to the market or the hardware store. A customer who lives where they don’t have the autumn coloring that New England has, asked me to take some pictures of the colors of fall.
So, I decided to take a trip! This was exciting! I planned on going on Saturday. But, that morning we were socked in with fog, which did not burn off until it was too late to go. I wanted to go that weekend, as the following week looked as if it would be rainy.
So, the new plan was to go on Sunday, as long as the fog seemed to be going to burn off early enough. My plan was to make a circuit up Rt 220, go over to Belfast, head down toward Camden, and have lunch on Mt Battie before heading home.
We had already had a hard frost, and the trees were already turning colors, and they seemed to be turning quite fast. While the leaf season normally stretches out over several weeks, the trees have been reacting to the dry summer, and many are so stressed out, the leaves are just turning brown and falling. So, I really wanted to go to take the pictures.
On Sunday we were again in fog, but by 10:30 it started to lighten up, so I headed north on Rt 1, and went left at Moody’s Dinner. Route 220 is not a road most tourists will ever drive. But, I like it. It is a small narrow road that crosses Rt 17, goes through Washington and Liberty, and then meets up with Rt 3.
Open fields were bordered by trees,
some in their full fall glory,
others had barely even started turning.
Each specie of tree, and each tree, has its own individual timing for turning color, and their own individual colors, that get repeated year after year. They react to day light hours, temperatures, and also rainfall. The more rain before fall, the more brilliant the colors, at least that is what we all think.
Normally ash turn first, and are bare before other trees. They seem to change color all at once. Maples seem turn from the outside in, giving a variegated effect, which lasts for a long time before the leaves fall. And the oaks hang on to some leaves all winter long.
220 goes past houses with wonderful gardens.
They had not had a hard frost,
as their corn was still standing.
The road continues at a down hill angle until it hits
the point that the Meadow Brook River flows into Medomak Pond.
From there it heads uphill
One passes fields and farms,
as well as several grave yards.
Past Washington, the road traverses hills, until it hits South Liberty,
where it starts to climb again.
And Just before the road reaches the top of its climb
there is a spot where one can look out toward the east.
It is a wonderful view,
that drops down and away.
When I got out of the car to take these, I was surprised! It was hot! I thought, perfect, I will be able to see a long way out from the top of Mt. Battie!
A short way up the hill, right before the road heads down hill to Liberty, there is a road to the left- it is the Lake St. George Road, also called the Stickney Hilll Road. I like to go around the lake. This is where I left 220.
When I got out of the car at the corner, I was again surprised, there was a cold moist wind blowing up from the other side of the hill.
The road goes down the hill,
past a blueberry barren.
The blueberry leaves add to the colors of our fall!
The yellow is late golden rod.
Here and there a blueberry was still hanging on.
After the barren the road drops down,
and curves around the end of the lake.
Further on is a place where large sheets of granite edge the shore.
The woods around the lake are filled with
evergreens mixed with the colorful soft woods.
Shortly after circling the lake, one hits Rt 3, which takes one into Belfast, where I turned south on Rt 1, heading to Camden. It was here that I realized that the fog was not really gone- one could see it as one went along, hanging just off shore.
In Ducktrap there is a small beach I like to stop at-
where the Ducktrap River runs into the sea.
One could see the fog bank just off shore.
I went along to Lincolnville Beach,
the ferry from Islesboro was coming in.
By the time I got to Camden,
the fog was moving in and out.
No lunch on top of the mountain!
Most of the windjammers were still wrapped for winter,
as they did not go out due to Covid.
But, a daysailer was just leaving the dock.
When I looked up the hill
Mount Battie was now in sun!
It was getting late
as I started the last leg of the trip.
I usually go through Rockport as I head south.
I like to see the belted Galloways.
And, I like Rockport Harbor!
As I headed home,
I passed a tree that was stunning!
While most people love the trees,
there are many other plants that add to this colorful time.
The ferns turn yellow,
and then to caramel.
Berries of all kinds brighten gardens and roadsides.
Honeysuckle berries are translucent jewels.
Apples are everywhere!
They spill onto the ground,
and onto roads,
filling the air with their fruity scent.
And, there are rose hips turning red,
pine needles turning yellow before dropping to the ground,
and late asters.
With the drying grasses and seed pods,
they make a fall bouquet.
I was thinking about why I like this loop. I think it is because it offers a little bit of almost everything in Maine.
One goes by ponds, streams, woods, meadows, and the ocean. One goes through older small towns, past a summer camp, houses- some in poor repair, some really well kept up, abandoned buildings, business that are no longer running, while others are. And, then one hits the towns that are filled with tourists fighting for a place to park! One sees a lot!
On this trip I passed so many views of Maine vignettes,
filled with the colors of this season.
Each and every one of them is special,
making up the tapestry that is a Maine fall.