Peak Performance


And look.

It’s coming…it’s coming…wait for it…

….Okay, NOW!

They’re peaking!


For those of you who don’t live around Eastern Canada and New England, let me explain.

We all know leaves change colors in the fall.  But it doesn’t happen all at once.

The advanced guard start changing their color as early as August.   But the forests are still mostly green at that point.

The transformation gradually builds up and tapers off in November, where you might find a few stragglers still clinging to the branches.

But there is a magical, wonderful time,  when everything is at its best.  When the colors are at their brightest, but the leaves haven’t yet started to fall off the trees.

And it’s happening right now.

And it’s not guaranteed to happen every year, either.   It all depends on the temperature and moisture levels in the soil.

Some years, the colors are washed out, and over and done with early, and autumn just rates a “Meh”.

Other years can blow you away, as if you’re seeing autumn for the first time.  The yellows, oranges, scarlets and salmons are so vibrant, you’d swear that the trees are emitting their own light.

This year is a pretty good one, I think.

But it won’t last forever.   Already the maple in my back yard is shedding its leaves.

We might have another 7-10 days of great colors.  Maybe less.

It could end overnight if there’s a windstorm.

By the end of the month, the trees will be bare, and Mother Natures’ show will pretty much over and one with.

So, quick….get out there, go for a drive, take a walk!  Check out the country side and grab your camera!

Because right now, it’s a very special moment.

But it’s also a very fleeting moment.

Make hay while the sun shines, my Mom always says.

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24 Comments on “Peak Performance”

  1. Mike Goad Says:

    Great pictures!

    We’ve got another 4 to 6 weeks before we get the peak, I think. We were seeing a bit of good color when we left Wisconsin last week.

    I really hope we have a good color year. With all of the rain we’ve had all of the trees are still green and not dried up before autumn weather actually gets here, as happens so many years.

    Again, great photos! great color!

  2. Rita Says:


    What outstanding pictures – and a good explanation as well! I have woods behind my house, and one tree ALWAYS starts to turn first. Yesterday, all of a sudden it was yellow! I could have sworn it was totally green just the day before. (Or, it could have been the meds they put me on, and the entire woods are blue…) It DOES happen fast, though…and then (blech) snow. After this brutally hot summer, I get to enjoy a whole 3 weeks before it changes yet again. More drugs!


  3. Writer Dad Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the weather in Southern California, but we do NOT have seasons. Stunning, Friar.

  4. Friar Says:

    Wow…I didn’t realize there was such a difference in peak color time….seeing how Wisconsin is roughly the same latitude as Eastern Ontario.

    4-6 weeks from now, everything here will be brown and dead.

    I drove 2 hours after work on Monday, snapping these photos. It was the only sunny day all week. There are only a finite number of photo sessions left like that. Like I said, make hay while the sun shines.

    This year, one of my trees was a bit sick, and it started to change colors in JULY.

    When I saw that, I wanted to scream AIIIEEEEEE!!!!! (I still had the furnace on in June…and already I was being reminded that summer is ending).

    I remember when I was on meds after surgery, once. I saw turquoise palm trees with a pink ocean. I opened my eyes, and I was back in the hospital room. Closed my eyes, and the trees were back.

    You get pretty good colors, with the meds.

    Hang in there, okay?

    @Writer Dad
    I agree, I feel really lucky to get seasons like this where I live.

    What I don’t like about autumn, though, is NOVEMBER. The leaves are all gone. It’s cold and wet and dark. And it’s like that for 4-6 weeks, until the snow finally falls and covers everything up.

    I must admit, though, the weather here is never boring. (We even had wet snow/hail today for a few minutes).

  5. veredd Says:


    I’m in Northern California – we don’t have that over here. I’m jealous.

  6. Friar Says:


    Yes, I admit…we’re lucky to have autumn here. I never get tired of it…each year, it’s like I’m a kid and I’m seeing it for the first time

    But Northern California is nothing to sneeze at. Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta, redwood forests, etc.

    That’s pretty damned awesome too.

  7. Davina Says:

    Hi Friar. Gorgeous photography! The autumn colours are one of the things I miss after having moved away from Ontario. Thanks for sharing those photos, it takes me back.

  8. Tara Says:

    Wow those scenes are stunning. We get all seasons here in England – except summer which seems to pass us by these days – but I must say I do really love autumn. Crisp, bright autumn days, you can’t beat them. Can’t say we have scenes like that though!

  9. Friar Says:

    Thanks for the compliment. But I almost feel like I’m taking too much credit here. This was almost “Hero Photography”.

    The colors were so great, that all I had to do was point the camera and shoot at something, and it would turn out great.

    Where did you used to live in Ontario?

    When I was a kid, I used to assume that everybody on the planet had autumn colors the way we do. It was only later that I read that it’s a relatively unique phenomenon on the planet. Mainly in the eastern part of North America. (The right combination of frost, cold temperatures, and mixed hardwood forests).

    It’s true…further west, there are no trees on the plains. Further North, there aren’t the red maples. And the pacific coast is mostly evergreens.

  10. Friar,

    You ARE SO TALENTED. We have to do something about making you more famous so the whole world gets to know the Friar.

  11. Friar Says:


    Aww…gee. These photo’s tweren’t nuthin. It’ not as hard as it seems.

    I’ll tell ya Friar’s secret:

    Just go out with a digital camera, take about a bazillion photos. Chances are that at least 4-5 will turn out good.

    (Notice you didn’t see my bad pictures here, did you?)

    And if you really want to get fancy, put the horizon at 1/3 through the picture, by cropping with Photoshop.

    That’s pretty much it…!

  12. Steve Says:

    Exactly why Fall is my favorite time of year. Beautiful pictures, Mr. Friar.

  13. Kelly Says:


    Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit.

    I’m going up next weekend—is it going to be too late?

    I think my parents don’t tell me because they don’t want to disappoint me. I’d rather know now, and sit and stew, than find out when I get there that it’s gone.

    I’m going to my fave diner down in itty-bitty-ville at 2:00 in the afternoon, just for you. I’ll order breakfast and then we’ll know if it really is a twin to Splat Creek.

    GORGEOUS photos. Simply stunning. Happy fall. 🙂



  14. Friar Says:

    Thanks. (I take it you have great colors where you live too)

    Hard to say. The colors depend on the local climate. So even if you’re 50 miles from where I live, it could change.

    The further south your are, the later the leaves peak. You’ll probably be okay.

    If it’s any consolation, a few years ago, I was in the Adirondacks on Canadian Thanskgiving weekend (Around October 12th). And it was pretty AWESOME.

  15. These pictures illustrate why I love autumn so much. The colors are stunning and comforting, and those trees really do look like they are all lit up. Gorgeous!

  16. Friar Says:


    I had a feeling that evening would be great. I got in my car after work and drove 100 miles, all around the country side, snapping photos.

    Glad I did…it’s already starting to fade a bit.

  17. Chanel Says:

    I just took a look outside my window to see if this change has begun to happen yet, and so far, no obvious signs. The leaves changing colors is the best part of autumn, though! Great photos. (Such a cute barn!) As a city girl, I love country photos. 🙂

  18. Friar Says:


    Guess it depends where you live. You’re probably much further south.

    I’ve been checking out the Internet. Believe it or not, they’ve mapped the fall colors by region. Just google “Foliage Map”.

    Here’s one for New England, for example:

  19. davinahaisell Says:

    Hi Friar. I used to live in the woods of northern Ontario (North Bay). I grew up on a farm near Trout Creek which is about 30 min south of North Bay. Lovely scenery.

  20. Friar Says:


    Oh, I know that area quite well. I’ve driven through Trout Creek many times.

    I used to live in Hamilton. Torontonians considere Huntsville the End of the World. North Bay is probably considered sub-arctic to them! 🙂

  21. Marelisa Says:

    These photographs are gorgeous, makes me wish I still lived in the US. I lived in Connecticut and Washington, DC, and Fall was absolutely beautiful in both places, but I think the trees in Connecticut had more of their own light, as you describe it, in the Fall.

  22. Friar Says:


    I expect Connecticut would be pretty awesome, especially around the Appalachian Trail!

  23. […] their Peak I thought I’d do a repeat from last week, and try to photograph some more fall […]

  24. […] The fall colors this year were okayyyyy…but not spectacular.   Not like they were in 2012 or 2008. […]

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