Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, September 29, 2008

"It's The Colors, Man"

The foliage is far from reaching its peak here in Central Mass, but there are some splashes of intense color around that will blow your mind.

Late yesterday afternoon we headed out for probably one of our last Sunday ice cream rides of the season. This time we headed to Howard's on Route 9 in West Brookfield. The sky was mostly gray with the late afternoon sun hitting the tops of the huge cumulus clouds. It was if one of the great Masters had painted the sky just for us. Closer to earth there were pockets of fall foliage that were so fresh, and colorful that even Crayola would feel threatened.

The reds along the wetlands were ablaze. The yellows filled in as the tree line moved further from the waters edge, and the half tones took over till they met with the solid green of the trees that had yet to feel the need to change.

These colored pockets were random, but were a sure indicator of what we will have in store for us in a couple of weeks.

I had a feeling it was going to be a great year for color. Sunday morning I went to get the paper, and on my way south down Route 148 I cast my eyes just beyond the river to Stallion Hill. There on the hill was the best early foliage I had seen in a long time. Couple that with the soft, misty morning, and the colors jumped right off the hillside.

These short jaunts around the area are like mini-vacations when the season is changing before our eyes. To see the world actually changing around you day by day is something that special effects artists will never master, and we get to see it for free.

After our ice cream, we rode through West Brookfield, and down Route 19/67. After a bit we took a side road up onto a hill. There, on the left was a blue sign on a pole: "Scenic Road". Naturally, we turned there. About a hundred yards ahead of us there were two Tom turkeys in the middle of the road. They were enormous. And, they had attitude. We slowed down to view them, but kept the windows rolled all the way up. They strutted across the road with confidence, and stared at us as if to say, "Slow down any more, sucka, and we'll 'jack your ride".

The gray, black, white and red colors they sported made the scene look like a post card against the yellow leaves on the roadside.

We let the GPS show us the little roads, and we followed them back in the direction of home.

It just may be our last foray for ice cream this year, but it won't be our last Sunday excursion. With the price of gas, the economy in shambles and food costing so much we need to get out and empty all the negative from our heads on a regular basis. Otherwise, we'll explode.

Next weekend, I'd like to head further north into Worcester County, and this time, I'll take the camera.

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