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My 2015 Vermont Fall Foliage Trip

Noyes Pond Seyon Ranch State Park Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Noyes Pond
Seyon Ranch State Park
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Every year, as September rolls in, I get excited. Fall is my favorite time of the year. The 3 “F’s.” Football, foliage and fotography. O.k. Maybe only 2 “F’s” but you get the idea. It is a kind of magical time when the light always seems nice and the changing colors make for wonderful photographic subject matter.

Crystal Lake Barton, Vermont Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Crystal Lake
Barton, Vermont
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

For those of us that like to photograph foliage, it has been a challenge

Well…………      2015 certainly has been an interesting year for foliage. We had an unusually warm fall throughout the northern U.S. For us late-season golfers, that has been a nice bonus. For those of us that like to see and photograph foliage, though, it has been a challenge. But the challenge is not so much because of the timing of Mother Nature – it appears that the colors will be there. But many of us make travel plans based on “normal” trends in color change.

Pond Jerusalem, Vermont Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Pond
Jerusalem, Vermont
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

That was my affliction this year. This was my first trip back to Vermont since 2010, when a number of us on the SOV foliage and photography forums got together in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) in north eastern Vermont and vowed to meet again in 2015.

This year there was a special tie the binds a group of us who photograph Vermont; GIC

In a “normal” season in Vermont, you can expect to find good color (well-developed to “peak”) during the last week of September and first week of October. But the very thought of “normal” weather is actually humorous. Weather does what weather does, no matter how much we wish and hope otherwise. This year, it is “late.” And we were there early.

Blueberry Lake Vermont Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Blueberry Lake
Vermont
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

But, I think we were fortunate in many ways. First, there was a binding tie for our trip to Vermont this year. We planned to honor one of our departed members, a good friend and companion. That gave us a reason to be there at that time, and we had a nice celebration of his “photographic” life. George (or GIC, as we knew him on the forum) was in inspiration to all of us, with infectious optimism, humor and basic goodness – even in the face of knowing he was fighting a disease which would ultimately beat him. His spirit was with us during the week.

Strafford Meeting House Strafford, Vermont Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Strafford Meeting House
Strafford, Vermont
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Second, as I prepared my gear and packed for the trip, the weather forecast was dreary. 4 days of rain, with precipitation chances ranging from 20 – 80%. A tropical storm-turned hurricane was moving up the Atlantic coast toward us, on a collision course with a low-pressure system that just seemed to “hang” over the Northeast. Instead, I had my usual and customary good luck. The last raindrops we saw during the 4 days I was in Vermont were as I walked off the plane. The weather gradually, but steadily, improved.

Noyes Pond Seyon Ranch State Park Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Noyes Pond
Seyon Ranch State Park
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

And, while I won’t say they were the most compelling images I have ever captured, we did find some pictures. And, once again, Vermont has that draw to me that will bring me back again soon.

Covered Bridge Cabot Plains Road, Cabot, VT Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Covered Bridge
Cabot Plains Road, Cabot, VT
Copyright Andy Richards 2015

Maybe the nicest part of this very short, but busy trip to Vermont was being able to shoot with my good friends, Carol and Al.  I met them both on the SOV forum, and we have become good friends and compatriots.  On the last day I was their, Al and I spent the day together — just the two of us — and what a great experience it is to shoot side by side with a kindred spirit and share not only our thoughts on photography, but our philosophy of life!  Thanks to both of you for being wonderful friends.

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4 Responses

  1. Right back atcha Andy. You and Al are such good friends, mentors, and “brothers” to me. I am blessed to have you both in my life and I look forward to the day when we can be out shooting together again. It certainly was a strange Autumn here weatherwise, but I’m glad we made the best of it and came home with some keepers. Hugs!
    Carol

  2. Andy, I really enjoyed our time together, both shooting and sharing philosophies…from the moment I picked you up at the airport to dropping you off near the airport.

    While we were a bit early for the best color, we did find some and renewing friendships, not only with you but with Carol, CT and the others was highlight of the trip.

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