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Bat Goddess BS: where is the Fall Foliage? (77* d) RE: BS: where is the Fall Foliage? 13 Oct 18

ChanteyLass, we still have only fair to middlin' color (if that). I'm a half hour inland from Portsmouth, NH (and uphill). My house is towards the front of a 33 acre piece of woods. I'm surrounded by trees. Halfway down the hill (about a half mile) the houses peter out and it's just trees (except for the slash of the power lines).

Up until earlier this week, most of my trees were still green. The American Basswood had just started dropping its yellow leaves. It's usually the earliest to shed its leaves. Right now most of the trees are gold (with some still green) but maple leaves are starting to seriously litter my driveway and deck. Not a speck of red -- they're all yellow with brown spots and shrivel quickly into brown.

The only color in the neighborhood are the ancient maples in my up the hill neighbor's yard -- and that's more of a dusty maroon red, rather than their usual bright red, orange and touch of gold. Even the color in the marshy area up around the corner (mile and a half from me) is "dusty"...dull reddish and orange-ish.

Not a good year for color. Last year wasn't either, but it was better than this year. And this year I've lost two hemlocks to drought stress. New Hampshire is losing a lot of conifers to drought stress because of their shallow root systems. What I've been noticing is if there's a stand of three conifers, one may be doing just fine, but the other two are losing needles and looking bedraggled, if not actually dead.

There are some bright spots of color on my drive to Portsmouth (or north to Tilton), but not the kind of color leaf peepers have traditionally traveled here to see.

We've been in a drought for over three years. We get rain, but it's not long soaking rains. This summer it's either been a torrential downpour and then over, or a teaser rain just wet enough to mess up outdoor plans without actually helping the garden much.

It's certainly been HUMID, though! Alas, that doesn't do the trees much good. My Trex deck is slimy, the handrails on the steps haven't been dry since June, and my white metal screen door is green.

Nigel, I'm glad you were able to visit areas where there WAS good color. (It's there, but not in the profusion of years past.) I'm about an hour and twenty minutes north of Boston and about the same distance south of the west end of the Kancamagus.


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