Chasing Fall in New England


Mist rolling over the hills in Pomfret, VT

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

 L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables


One of the most photographed farms in the US–Jenne Farm, Reading, VT

It’s October in New England and it seems that no matter where you are in the Northeast, you can find spectacular displays of fall foliage.  The fiery reds, warm golds and lush greens of fall are popping up everywhere from New York to Maine.  Not wanting to miss out on a fall that was already being described as “vibrant” and “neon”, I booked a weekend with friends recently to explore the back roads of Vermont, a state that I had only seen under the cover of snow.

We set off on our two-day quest for fantastic fall foliage and weren’t disappointed.  Neither the throngs of fellow leaf-peepers nor the forecast for rain slowed us down.  We only had time to explore a few towns and villages during our short visit.  But we were able to capture images of so many classic New England icons from stone walls and covered bridges to church steeples and village greens all in the stunning backdrop of Autumn’s eye-popping palette.

For my friends below the Mason-Dixon line who have a while longer to wait for their fall “peep shows”, here are some moments from my weekend in Vermont to hold you over.  Happy leaf-peeping!


Stowe Community Church, Stowe, VT


The sun going down on Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT



Barn in Woodstock, VT


Shops along the village green in South Royalton, VT


Woodstock Middle Bridge, Woodstock, VT



Taftsville covered bridge right outside Woodstock, VT


Reflections of autumn in the North Hartland Lake near the Quechee Gorge in Quechee, VT


One of the many stone walls found in New England. This one lines the walkway of the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT


The Quechee Gorge drops down165 feet where the Ottauquechee River runs through. The river originates in the Green Mountains and flows through Killington and continues eastwardly in the Woodstock, Pomfret, Hartford and Hartland and Quechee.


Vibrant foliage surrounding buildings on the Vermont Law School Campus, South Royalton, VT


Photos by Susan Scarborough

Maine — The New England of Your Dreams


Bass Harbor Head Light- Sunset

Bass Harbor Head Light – Sunset

The breathtaking beauty of Maine is captured in these photos of rugged shores marked with classic lighthouses overlooking boat-filled harbors.

The photos were taken by my incredibly talented friend Katie O’Reilly on her recent weekend trip to The Pine Tree State.  The collection showcases how summer in New England can be the holiday of your dreams with a series of iconic photographs. From St. Ann’s Church near the Bush’s estate on Walker Point to the majestic vistas of Acadia National Park, Katie’s photos already have me planning my own weekend escape back to the rocky shores of Maine. You can see more from her trip at her website and on Instagram.  While you are there, check out stunning collections from her other travels.

On this summer night in New England as I tuck my exhausted but happy children into their beds, I am inspired  by these iconic scenes and can’t help but channel John Irving by saying, “Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.”

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light

St. Ann's Episcopal Church, Kennebunkport

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Kennebunkport

Spring Point Ledge, Portland

Spring Point Ledge, Portland

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor

Portland Head Light- Sunset

Portland Head Light – Sunset

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Bass Harbor Sunset

Bass Harbor Sunset

All photos by Katie O’Reilly 

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

photo 1-2

Tomorrow is the first of March which means we are twenty days away from the vernal equinox–the first day of spring.  Not that anyone is counting.  And not that Mother Nature cares.  As we face another weekend of snow, my friends and I are wondering whether we will ever surface from this endless winter.

I  miss color.  I crave green grass and bright blue skies.  I want to see a vibrant color palette pop with the arrival of tulips, crocuses, daffodils and forsythia.

As I was looking out the window today at nature’s still white canvas, searching for any sign of the coming season, I thought about camellias.  In my mind I could see the iconic Southern blooms in a million shades of pink, white and red weighing down their lush evergreen branches. They could brighten even the dreariest of days.


Curious as to whether the cold-weather bloomer might be found in the Northeast, I Googled the camellia. Originally from Japan, these blooms made their way to Charleston in the 18th century and for hundreds of years, camellias thrived in Southern climates. But much to my surprise, I found they also had a home in New England for just as long.  I had no idea the flower could survive north of the Mason-Dixon line. But thanks to greenhouses and devoted caretakers,  they do. There is even a Massachusetts Camellia Society.  Who knew? The Lyman Estate in Waltham, MA has been growing varieties of camellias in their greenhouses since the 1800s.  Many of the Lyman camellias are over 100 years old. And across the Long Island Sound from my house, the Planting Fields Foundation has the largest collection of camellias under glass in the Northeast.   Who knows, with the cultivation of hardy hybrids and new growing techniques, I might even be able to have a touch of the South in my garden next winter.

But until then, I have to remember spring will eventually make its way back to us and green sprouts will push their way up through the frozen ground. Tom Petty was right that the waiting is the hardest part, but there are few things more anticipated and appreciated than the first signs of spring in New England.

To help pass the time until those happy days wander our way, my friend Evelyn was sweet enough to shoot some pictures of gorgeous camellia blooms around Northwest Florida and sent them to me.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

photo 2-4





Photography by Evelyn Savage

Cold Weather Blues


As I sit here watching the snow fall again in Connecticut, I am bracing myself for what is apparently going to be long, long winter.   New terms like “polar vortex” and “arctic front” are blanketing the headlines and The Weather Chanel is now christening winter storms with names like “Hercules” and “Janus”. 

As a Southern girl who didn’t see much snow growing up, I’m usually giddy when the first powdery flakes of the season start to fall.  It’s breathtaking. Especially during the holidays. Who doesn’t dream of a white Christmas?

But the decorations are put away and the joy of snow days is wearing thin. Theses short, dreary days are leaving everyone with a case of the cold weather blues. The one saving grace is  Shelley’s promise– if winter comes, can spring be far behind? Remembering that promise and living in the moment, I can find the beauty and serenity that comes with the quiet, gray days of winter.

So I’m going to light a fire, snuggle with my kids and share some moments of winter showing off in New England. 










Turning The Page


“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ahhh…school has started. The smell of sharpened pencils. The buzz of a new school year with old friends and fresh notebooks.

The first acorn has bounced off the hood of my car. Leaves are floating from the trees. The September sky is it’s brightest blue. And windows are cracked at night to let the brisk autumn air in.

The page has turned. Fall is here.

New England is great this time of year and I can’t wait to make my first loaf of pumpkin bread. But a proper good bye to a spectacular summer would be nice and here are a few photos to wrap it  up.








Summer’s Sweet Swan Song


The last precious days of summer are upon us.  It’s time to get the kids ready to go back to school.  Labor Day is right around the corner and before you know it, SEC football will be kicking off.

But summer is not over by a long shot.  Even during these fading days of August, summer is holding its own in Nantucket.



Taking Kate, Jack and our friends out to Great Point at the northern most tip of the island.


An peaceful spot to take a coffee break outside The Bean Coffee Shop.





Brant Point lighthouse has been welcoming tired sailors into the safety of Nantucket Harbor for over a hundred years now.

Photos by Nathan Congleton for SXNE

A New England Fall

I have lived in New England for a better part of five years. After living in a one-dimensional climate in Florida for years, I’m thrilled to have all four seasons again.

This time of year takes your breath away in New England.  The vista on the back roads of Connecticut is vibrant and the skies are the truest blue. The chill in the air gives you a charge that lasts almost long enough to get you through winter. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.  Football is on TV, soups are on the stove, and fires get lit for the first time in a year. Autumn in New England lives up to its billing and makes me nostalgic for a season I haven’t even experienced yet.

Photography by Evelyn Laws and Susan Scarborough.