We set off in the dark of night. Three hours of darkness, asphalt, and taillights is not an uncommon journey for me and would surely have seemed longer without a few friends. Conversation, with the sprinkling of a noisy snooze thrown in for good measure made the miles and the time go by quickly. The burgeoning twilight cast a soft glow across the treetops, we were almost where we needed to be. The familiar voice from our friendly electronic tour guide soon alerted us to the upcoming exit just as the Sun began to break the horizon.
The journey now changed from the long tedious straight trajectory to the more familiar twists and turns of New England country roads. Passing through sleepy towns and family farms, frost still fresh on the ground, my mind drifted wishing I had brought my thermos filled with coffee but no time to stop, we are almost there.
Now we are turning onto an old dirt road, apple trees line both sides. The rolling hills go from light to shadow and shadow to light. The colors are vibrant, then just as suddenly to a dull rust color. A promising fall appears to be running its course but hopes are high as we pass beautiful pastoral scenes bathed in the morning light.
Finally, down another dirt road, barely enough room for one car let alone two. Rows of trees, golden tones abound, cattle frolic and feed in the fields. Our destination is in sight, now to find a place to park on this tiny road. We drive by and wave at a farmer whose probably been up as early as we have. We find a turnaround, then find a place with just enough space to be off the road which we haven’t seen anyone on except for us for the last thirty minutes.
The air is still crisp, that fresh fall air that cleans your soul. The sugar maples have lost many of their leaves leaving a carpet of yellow, red and orange welcoming us. Our destination? The Sleepy Hollow Farm in Woodstock Vermont (if it's still called that). This iconic location has been shot by many a photographer but we've never been.
It was a great beginning to a fantastic photographic trip with friends. We spent about an hour, in the morning stillness, on the still quiet road, composing, admiring, and reflecting on the beauty of this place, of this area, before moving on. Was it worth it? You bet! Vermont in the Fall is a thing of beauty that must be witnessed in person even past it's peak. I was fortunate to be able to make it up several times this year and was rewarded on each visit.
Whether you go by yourself or go with a group of friends, get out and capture some fall color wherever you may be this year before it’s gone. Meanwhile, enjoy these other photos from later that day and some captured the week before from Vermont as well. Click on image for a larger view