As the trail climbed toward the summit, I stood holding on to a beech tree — it was young enough to span in two hands but sturdy enough that I could lean my full weight against it to look back as the slope dropped away. If I was catching my breath, it wasn’t from the climb. It was from the color.
I’m not sure I have ever seen anything as beautiful as this hillside today.
The hard rock and striped maples are bright as peppers, orange-red and yellow, and the sassafrass, young chestnut, birch are clear and vivid as summer squash. The oaks, braking in as the trail climbs, are russet and orange as embers. Trees that really turn will glow when the light comes through them. And no photograph can wholly recall the feeling of standing on the hill surrounded by that deep color.
This is why I need to live here. So I can sit on a granite outcrop under a white pine while the wind comes through the highbush blueberry bushes.