The afternoon sunlight came pouring in through the sheer curtains of our front window causing me to peek outside where I caught a glimpse of the vivid orange leaves on my neighbor's dogwood tree. Just past it I can see the flame orange leaves on a tree across the street. That can only mean one thing: It's peek leaf peeping time here! Scratch that — it also means I'm just more than a tad homesick for my old NH stomping grounds.
Fall was the absolute best, best time of year there. And it only lasted about 2 weeks.
I'm kidding, but it sure did appear out of nowhere and then disappear just as suddenly.
It meant the summer humidity that made life miserable was gone. The cool temperatures made way for simmering pots of clam 'chowdah.' Mr. Field Notes made some last night which made me recall one night in NH when he drove down to the local gas station to buy the all essential missing ingredient for clam chowder. He took his package of bacon to the cashier to pay for it and all she said was something along the lines of, "Making chowdah huh." There if you were buying bacon, and only bacon, in the fall, it could mean only one thing.
We lived in the NH woods, more or less, and there were all kinds of little roads lined with trees and stone fences to travel down. I fondly remember one huge tree on a hill next to a stone monument that was on the way to campus. It always lit up an unbelievable golden orange color like nothing I had ever seen. When I went back for my preliminary dissertation defense, I had to see that tree. It wasn't peak season, but the tree was still gorgeous.
At this time of year back there the weather channel would always cover the progression of prime leaf peeping zones so you could anticipate exactly what weekend it was going to be the best. As a transplant from the West I thought it was pretty weird that people would make that big a deal out of it. But after the first fall it became obvious.
Today, if I were in NH with Mr. Field Notes, we would've driven into Portsmouth or maybe down to Exeter to walk around and take in the sights. We'd go to Bob's Clam Hut and get Fish 'n' Chips for lunch then maybe go for a drive up through Maine along the coast and then head back for lobster ravioli dinner at Café Mediterraneo. Or, we'd just take the dingbat dogs for a country drive along Bay Road out to Durham Point. Clam chowder for din-din.
It's just not quite the same here.