Time to Plan Your Leaf Peeping

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Photo via riotofreasons.blogspot.com
That special light of early fall. Photo via riotofreasons.blogspot.com

It’s that enchanting Charlotte’s Web time of year, the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness,” said the poet John Keats.  Early fall.  The light angles in such a way that everyone looks well-rested.

Grapes are reaching their full ripeness in Maryland vineyards.  Target is starting to flush with Halloween candy and farmer’s markets with pumpkins. My kids are starting to think about costumes. My son, 9, wants to be a ninja. My daughter, 7, wants to be a cat fairy princess wearing tap dance shoes. I just want to stare out the kitchen window at the trees that are starting to turn from green to gold. I would like it to be September forever.

Word to the wise: if you want to make a leaf wreath with all your gorgeous findings, as I did a few years ago, do not do what I did. I was like, how hard can it be to make a leaf wreath? Does it take a genius? And then I glue-gunned my collection of orange and red maple leaves to some chicken wire that I wrestled into a star-shape. Duh. They crumpled up and turned mouse-brown, and I had the worst looking fall wreath on the block: dead leaves on chicken wire.

If you want the leaves to keep their color, you have to preserve them first. Thank you, Martha Stewart. 

You might have forgotten the reason behind fall foliage in the first place: photosynthesis. The only thing I remember about 10th grade science was that I had a crush on my teacher and I can’t even remember his name now. Tall, bearded, lumberjack-ish guy. Mmmm. Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, I was about to tell you about chlorophyll:

I don’t get it either.

But here’s the point, fall is beautiful. It’s time to start planning your leaf-peeping weekends. A list of best places to peep in Maryland, according to CBS Baltimore, is here. Another, aggregated by the Baltimore Sun, is here. Or simply rake the yard leaves into a pile and take pictures of the kids and the dog mid-air with smiles on their back-to-school faces.

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