Leaf Peeping

Leaf Peeping by boat

With fall comes the inevitable leaf peeping

There’s urgency in the air for Northeast boaters come October. From Long Island and southern Connecticut to the rocky coast of Maine, the long, luxurious days of summer over. It’s evidenced by the fall foliage colors along most waterways.

While some may take new splashes of red, yellow and orange along tree-lined shores as an indication boating season is approaching its end, serious skippers realize there’s still plenty of time to get out and enjoy all that is enjoyable out on the water. In fact, it’s with those colors that you might want to start.  The Northeast in October is nothing if not spectacular along corridors where autumnal displays reach their peak.

Northeast landlubbers frequently drive inland to witness breathtaking views of changing fall foliage in mountainous areas. Boaters can simply point their bows toward marvelous views closer to home. By early October, the trees and bushes aligning back-bay areas, river banks and lakes blossom in hues so rich you can practically taste them. From grand channels like the Hudson and Connecticut rivers to the Boston Harbor Islands and numerous small tidal creeks, opportunity to take in fall’s spectacular foliage is in full bloom.

Cruise it

Be sure to cruise slowly as you enjoy the show—to power past the changing scenery is to merely witness a blend of hues. Probe more closely and individualism abounds. Like snowflakes, each tree, each branch, each leaf is different. Some seem to burst forth with color like juice from a freshly bitten piece of fruit. Others turn more slowly, gracefully. Look carefully and you’ll view two primary color camps.

The reds include varieties such as sugar maple, red maple, sweet gum, red oak, scarlet oak, sumac, and sassafras. Among the yellows are beech, birch, hickory, eastern rosebud, and poplar. It all makes for a wonderful mix, and there is no better way to see it than from above deck.

By Tom Schlichter, Southern Boating October 2018

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