What a morning…what a weekend to come!

2006-09-15 07:37:23.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

An alpine autumn landscape…

I had to look up an official definition of ‘Indian Summer’ this morning, as it is a word that perhaps could describe this coming weekend. While traditionally the term is used to describe a sudden warm up with clear skies sometime after the first frost, I was unsure if you could actually use the term while it was still in fact…summer. Last week a string of crisp cold nights brought frost to the valleys, as well as icing to the summits, but a near tropical high pressure area this weekend will push air temperatures back to true summertime levels. However, considering that the valleys are only just beginning to take on the look of fall, I guess the term ‘still summer’ will have to mean Indian Summer for now.

If I were basing this on the look of autumn, as well as general climate, I’d have to coin a new term then…perhaps ‘New England Alpine Indian Summer’ will do, as the summit truly has taken on the look of fall. The tundra in completely ensconced in it’s fall coat, with intense reds and golden browns mottling the landscape. It was a surprise to see the landscape at all this morning though as the forecast called for fog…as while the summits are now back in the clouds, for a brief window around sunrise, the clouds opened up allowing spectacular views through the layers of mist.

The picture at right shows our fall landscape at sunrise, the reds in the foreground are blueberry and bilberry scrub bushes, as well as a few cinquefoil leaves. The cranberries, though not pictured, are another source of flame on the tundra, and are a nice treat for the attentive hiker. But this picture doesn’t show the true scale of the interplay of light and cloud at sunrise, which perhaps can better be seen here! What a morning…

Oh, and then right as the clouds rose up to again swallow us, this happened…but this comment is long enough, and I’ll save that explanation for tomorrow!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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