Fall is absolutely the best season in New Hampshire. The days are sunny and dry. The nights are cool (sometimes cold) and the air is crisp. But above all else the colors are tremendous. Guests at our Holderness B&B often ask why the leaves change color.
During the spring and summer the leaves manufacture most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.
Along with the green pigment there are yellow and orange pigments in the leaf, but most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.
In the fall as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler the leaves stop making the food, anticipating the upcoming winter and dormant season. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the yellow and orange colors become dominant. These pigments mix to create vibrant reds as well as the sharp yellows and oranges.
Old timers will tell you that the brilliance of fall foliage depends on factors like how much rain we’ve had or how hot or cold the summer was. Undoubtedly these factors enter into the mix, but every year is different. The one thing that remains constant is the timing. It always happens in the fall when the days get shorter. It’s Mother Nature’s way of signalling the passing from summer to winter.
The Squam Lake area and the rest of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region will be ablaze with these colors soon. This would be a perfect time to spend a few days at the Inn On Golden Pond where you can enjoy luxurious lodging each night and the spectacular countryside filled with fall colors each day.