View Full Version : Autumn in New England

John Cook
21-Aug-2005, 10:51
It’s Summer in New England. August, as usual, is a steam bath. “Hotter than the old harry”, as the saying goes. Every day, another “scortcher”.

In spite of the satellite news channels, who report that everyone is out of work and no one can afford to purchase gasoline, the roads are jammed with millions of SUV’s, full of sticky children, heading to the seashore. All the beach parking lots are full up and all restaurants have lines with a three-hour wait for lunch.

The good news is that September is coming. That most wonderful time of year. All the little kiddies will be back in school. And the seashore will begin to recover from another frantic tourism season.

To celebrate and help get you in the mood, may I recommend the September issue of Yankee Magazine?

It’s their 70th Anniversary Edition, complete with much fine photography of all the best places to travel in New England including a country village, a lighthouse, a covered bridge and Baxter State Park, complete with a cow moose.

I can just smell the crisp, balsam-scented air!


Erik Sherman
21-Aug-2005, 11:47
We're in the process of moving out to western Mass. up near Vermont. As soon as the shock wears off, I expect to be breaking out my 4x5 field camera to do some shooting - b&w as well as color, as I'm writing an article about using DR5 for Photo TECHNIQUES and have all kinds of film that I still need to expose...

gene LaFord
21-Aug-2005, 12:09
Erik... Here's an early "Welcome" to western Mass. Like John, I reside in the wondreful(?) metropolis of Springfield, MA. What part of north-west Mass is your destination? I have relatives stretching from Greenfield to Fitchburg... well their arms really aren't that long!!

Here's to good fall New England light to ya!

Louie Powell
21-Aug-2005, 12:39
Erik -

another welcome to the great Northeast (from eastern NY, near the Vermont border).

As John says, next month this part of the world becomes civilized. The nights start to cool off, the trees change colors, and except for a few leaf peepers, there aren't a lot of tourists clogging up the roads.

Then comes winter.

21-Aug-2005, 12:43
We at September 29 leave from Italy for the Maine (for photo), we hope to find enjoyable not a very rainy time. Last year in the Vermont she was right there.

21-Aug-2005, 13:04
Autumn in New England -- a season of rain, to be followed shortly by a season of snow.

Erik Sherman
21-Aug-2005, 15:24
Thanks for the welcomes. We're moving to an 18th century farmhouse with 19th century addition in Colrain, right near Greenfield and Shelburne Falls, about 15 or 20 minutes from the VT border. Lots of good subjects and a barn for a make-do studio space (at least when it's warmer). We're from eastern Mass., so we're used to the weather for the most part, but looking forward to a change of the pace from around here.

John Cook
21-Aug-2005, 17:10
Actually, late fall and winter in the hills of New England are outstanding times for photography.

This area is heavily forested, which makes summer photography like working on the dense jungle floor. Deep black shadows everywhere. Tree branches flow into each other over suburban streets.

After the leaves fall, the place opens up to the sky like the Midwest plains and arid Southwest. Snow makes a wonderful reflector to fill the shadows.

Distances are reduced here. It’s only four miles to work. The roads are plowed and dry within twelve hours. When in hurry there’s always the city bus. But if it’s that bad, don’t worry, your employer will probably be closed as well.

My late uncle in Penobscot, Maine, had one of those enormous farm kitchens. Big enough to land a plane in. And a giant black iron wood stove right in the middle, only slightly smaller than the Wurlitzer at Radio City.

He spent the autumn splitting wood, which by Thanksgiving entirely filled the shed.

All winter he sat reading and dozing in his upholstered rocking chair with his hand-knit wool socked feet on the oven door.

Doesn’t get no betta than that! Ayuh.

Bill Hahn
22-Aug-2005, 05:48
>looking forward to a change of pace....

Which reminds me of the ancient joke about the "summer person" teenager
who was bored out of mind during a Maine vacation. On a walk, she encountered
a lobster fisherman who was mending a trap. She asked him: "What do you do
for excitement around here?". After a pause, he thoughfully replied: "Don't know,
never been excited."

(It's one thing to read this joke, it's another to hear it with a genuine Maine accent....)

John Cook
22-Aug-2005, 06:43
Thanks, Bill. That makes me homesick for the nutty old days Down East.

For those who share our somewhat warped sense of humor, may I recommend a revival of the old "Bert & I" recordings. Apparently, two young men put themselves through college, mid 20th Century, by gathering and recording authentic old Down Maine stories.

Like the man who was asked by a friend why he looked so sad. He replied that he had had to shoot his dog the day before. The friend asked if the dog was mad. He replied, "Well, he weren't too damn pleased about it!"

Many of the original recordings have been re-released on CD:


Warning: this sort of humor is an acquired taste. Ayuh...

Bill Hahn
22-Aug-2005, 07:32

Thanks for the link. I recommend to you "Seagulls and Summer People" by Captain Kendall Morse, if you
can find a recording. Morse used to have a program on Maine public tv called "In The Kitchen", where he would
sit around with some liar from the backwoods and exchange the most outrageous lies with a straight face. No laugh
track, only one camera -- and the funniest program I've ever seen. I remember the show he had with Marshall
Dodge, one half of "Bert and I". At the end, in the segment where Morse summed up the program (sitting on a
rocking chair on his porch), he said: "If the devil came to me and said: 'You owe me a 1000 liars' and I responded: 'I'll
give you Marshall Dodge' and the devil refused, I'd call the devil a hard bargainer.".

Since this humor *is* an acquired taste, I'll stop at this point....:-)

Best wishes,

gene LaFord
22-Aug-2005, 10:48
I have several "Bert and I" recordings on vinyl.

A-yup... Down East humah dohn't get no bettah thahn thaht!

David Vickery
22-Aug-2005, 13:08
So just how hot is a "scortcher” in the New England area???

gene LaFord
22-Aug-2005, 19:49
95 to 98 F with 95% humdidity... where your ear hair sweats while you are sittin' in the shade.