If there is one time of the year that I wish would last much longer, it’s the period from mid-September through mid-October. The lack of bugs, the cool days and cooler nights, the brilliant sunshine and the crisp moonlit forests — these are all the things that form the roots of life’s deepest pleasures.
And, yes, I also mean to include the exquisite displays of joyous colors put on by our deciduous trees!
I resist any and all efforts to keep me out of the woods during the onset of fall; while some people plan their big vacations for July or August, I schedule mine for early October. This is the best hiking and camping weather, and often the last spout of good paddling weather for the year. The slight chill decorating the edge of an afternoon breeze across an Adirondack pond stimulates my senses, and nighttime never arrives without my campfire already blazing.
But it is always too ephemeral — gone before we are ready, sometimes washed away prematurely by a heavy storm that blows away the last of the leaves, the entire brief season not to be seen again for nearly another year.
Here are some of my favorite early fall photos taken over the years, which always put me in the mood even when I see them in, say, the doldrums of March. I hope you find as much pleasure in them as I do. –Bill Ingersoll
Bill Ingersoll is a founding board member of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates, formed in 2016 to speak on behalf of the wilderness character of the Forest Preserve. He has hiked, paddled, and backpacked in wilderness areas across the United States but feels most at home in the grand forests of the Adirondacks. He has published several guidebooks, including "Snowshoe Routes: Adirondacks & Catskills" (The Mountaineers Books, 2006) and "50 Hikes in the Adirondack Mountains" (The Countryman Press, 2019).