Autumn in Maine

Autumn is my favorite time of year, period, but it's especially fun in Maine. The landscape slowly turns from a lush green to a vibrant rainbow of oranges, yellows, and reds. The chill in the air is refreshing, and the wet leaves on the ground, pumpkins, apples, and spices all provide a cornucopia of scents for your nose to feast on.

The autumn colors make it my favorite time of year to photograph, but the fleeting nature of the changing leaves adds an urgency to the quest for these images before the color fades and only shades of grey and brown remain. Foliage reports are closely watched, and while looking at past years can give you some idea of when a good time to photograph an area is, it's never guaranteed that you'll catch it exactly at peak.

Recently, based on various reports, my own availability, and the desire to get out and photograph, I drove a few hours northwest to Rangeley, Maine. I'd heard it was near peak, so I was eager to see the color, since it's barely started to change along the coast where I live.  There was still some green, but plenty of color sprinkled in. My first stop was Dunn Falls, near Andover, Maine. The Appalachian Trail crosses through this area, while other trails lead you along various streams to waterfalls and small cascades. I spent several hours here along the trail, stopping each time I came across a scene I liked. I was completely alone, with only the sound of bubbling brooks and the soft rumble of the various waterfalls, as well as the songs of the birds, to fill the silence.

While in Rangeley, I visited Height of Land at dusk, and was treated to the above scene, with a warm glow on the horizon, the remains of the setting sun, billowing clouds quickly moving through, and a soft warm light illuminating the trees as Mooselookmeguntic Lake reflected the light. Height of Land is a favorite spot among Mainers, and it's easy to see why. It's a great little spot that's almost impossible to pass by without taking a look.

While in Rangeley, I also visited the Cascades. The Cascades are a series of waterfalls running through a gorge over 1/10 of a mile. The trees along the gorge were just beginning to change, but there were hints of yellow and orange everywhere. The falls were running strong due to recent rains, and I again spent several hours photographing and listening to the sounds of the woods. There were several perches along the gorge that required a little climbing and scrambling, but it was worth it for the images I was able to capture.

My final morning in Rangeley, I got up for sunrise and headed up to WIlsons Mills to visit Bennett Bridge, a covered bridge built in 1901.  The image I made is at the top of this entry. This is one of the more picturesque bridges I've seen, despite the fact that getting a shot from the river bank isn't possible. I usually like to get to the water's edge to try and get the river or a reflection in the shot, but for this bridge it isn't possible. There was a fine mist in the valley beyond, and some nice puffy clouds in the sky. The mountain in the background was filled with bright colored trees and a few evergreens stood immediately behind the bridge. I stood back and used a telephoto lens to try and compress these elements into the scene. As soon as I finished this image I began my trip home to plan my next fall foliage adventure in Vermont.

It is truly my passion to go out and capture these scenes. If you would like to support my work, please consider purchasing a print of your favorite image.