The Smugglers Notch road remains closed today, following the precipitous snowfall of last Friday. Views from the Stowe and Cambridge side of the Notch reveal a white blanket above the still colorful autumn landscape. Though for some this means driving all the way around the mountain to commute to work, I suspect the beauty of this contrast outweighs the inconvenience for most. This is part of our story and the seasonal transitions that make this area unique.
The weather has presented us with rather unexpected twists and turns this year. While unusually toasty days cause good reason to worry about the condition of our environment, many rejoiced at the extended opportunities to soak up the heat and sun.
Fall arrived abruptly, turning green to red and orange and yellow overnight. We debate between disappointment and enthusiasm as the colorful season announces the not so distant passage to winter. Yet the surprise of the first colors is so refreshing. This year, as in both distant and recent past, autumn calls us outside to every corner of the county to capture its beauty. We become tourists in our own neighborhood, sharing in the awe with visitors from all directions, states and countries.
“The number of tourists in Vermont to view fall foliage is comparable to previous years,” according to an article by Burlington Press staff writer Matt Sutkoski. In the same article, Charley Dooley, who helped produce the recent Stowe Foliage Arts Festival, declares that it was “as busy as it usually is… about 10,000 people visited the three-day festival, which is on par with previous years.”
As a perfectly orchestrated, world renowned museum exhibit, Vermont foliage attracts young and old, affluent and comfortable folks who otherwise lead very different lives to one venue where for a moment they share a sense of awe. Perhaps autumn is the sort of ephemeral event that has the ability to weave closer ties between us over time. This, also, is what makes this area so unique. Monotony simply is not part of the picture.