Some consider Autumn to be the most incredible time of the year. Gorgeous colors vibrantly encoring the end of summer as the trees put themselves to bed for the long sleep of winter. The Great Smoky Mountains floods with thousands upon thousands of annual visitors all hoping to achieve a breath taking view of the beautiful renaissance of nature.
The Smoky Mountains team has once again released their foliage prediction map, updated for 2017. The complex algorithm uses historical and forecasted precipitation and temperatures, as well as historical leaf peak and observational trends to predict when the trees will be at their most colorful. As each year passes, there’s more historical data to consider, and therefore, the predictions get more accurate.
This 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.
Life has been a bit hectic lately so I’m channeling my new November attitude; simple and relaxed.
November means ‘the ninth month’ so why is it actually the 11th month in the year? The calendar used in the Western world today is the Gregorian calendar. It came into being in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII accepted the system proposed by Aloysius Lilius. The original Roman year (from which both the Julian and Gregorian calendars are based) had only ten months and it was Numa Pompilius, a King of Rome around 700 BC, who added January (Januarius) and February (Februarius).
All my life, I have loved Halloween. I’m calling it now:
Halloween, with all its tacky, kitschy goulishness, is the
best holiday. It’s a legit time for just having some ol’ fashion
fun with pranks and mischief-making. Halloween is the only
time kids AND adults can be silly, juvenile idiots and get
away with it. And for those who are into a little history
here is an abbreviated version:
Today is All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween. The modern
holiday comes from an age-old tradition honoring the
supernatural blending of the world of the living and the
world of the dead. Halloween is based on a Celtic holiday
called Samhain. The festival marked the start of winter
and the last stage of the harvest, the slaughtering of
animals. It was believed that the dark of winter allowed
the spirits of the dead to transgress the borders of death
and haunt the living.
Eventually, Christian holidays developed at around the
same time. During the Middle Ages, November 1 became
known as All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day. The holiday
honored all of the Christian saints and martyrs. Medieval
religion taught that dead saints regularly interceded in the
affairs of the living. On All Saints’ Day, churches held masses
for the dead and put bones of the saints on display. The night
before this celebration of the holy dead became known as
All Hallows’ Eve. People baked soul cakes, which they would
set outside their house for the poor. They also lit bonfires and
set out lanterns carved out of turnips to keep the ghosts of
the dead away.
Credit: The Writer’s Almanac
I drove by this display of Halloween silliness yesterday and
made me stop and smile.
Happy Halloween, fall has officially begun.
Fall has arrived, oh how I already miss summer.
Beneath a yellow fading tree,
As red suns light thee, Autumn-morn,
In wildest rapture let me see
The sweets that most thy charms adorn.
O while my eye the landscape views,
What countless beauties are display’d;
What varied tints of nameless hues, —
Shades endless melting into shade.
A russet red the hazels gain,
As suited to their drear decline;
While maples brightest dress retain,
And in the gayest yellows shine.
From Autumn by John Clare
(from The Village Minstrel, 1821)
Sun filtering through leaves between
two trees. Last days of autumn.
Black Forest, Germany
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Boat Hotel, Cocoa Island, Maldives
Botanic House, Thailand
Botafogo Bay, Rio de Janerio, Brasil