For two weeks I've been searching hillsides, past barns and long driveways or in nearby yards, for a sign that autumn foliage has descended upon the Champlain Valley. Geese have been honking, flying low overhead, and raucous crows congregate in trees. So far, the drenching hues of vibrant maples remain elusive.
If it weren't for the beautiful rolls of hay, the grass might remind me of spring. But there is a hint of color in the golden shrubs.
This is my favorite field.
There are spots of red color in the Sumacs, but they are just beginning their autumnal glory - always the first harbinger of the spectacle to come.
I am disturbed that so many leaves have already fallen without a display of breathtaking color...
Yet I remain upbeat. We haven't had any frosty nights which usually speeds up mother nature. In the meantime, I enjoy pockets of chicory, Queen Anne's lace, even wild daisies, which dot the roadside on my way to work.
For now, I am the colorful presence - not as stunning or as glorious as peak foliage, I know - but darkness reigns at 6:30 pm, and that'll have to do while I continue to wait for brilliant leaves. At least there are flashy cyclists lending color to fall.