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Nothing gold can stay

Fall’s fragile beauty gives way to the stark realities of winter in New England

Fog lifted over Lake Bomoseen in the early morning on Oct. 11, as seagulls occupied a boat dock.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

When that first orange leaf catches your eye, it brings a surge of excitement for what lies ahead. Fall, with its kaleidoscope of color and bracing clarity, has arrived, and its full glory awaits.

Colors surround you in a familiar splendor. The smell of burning wood fills the air. On a whim, you visit the White Mountains, as if drawn to a higher power, and find inspiration at every turn.

Fall’s beauty is fragile. The chill deepens and the light fades. Winds steal the leaves from the trees. The landscape grows bleak. Darkness falls suddenly, like childhood bedtimes when every light in the house was turned off at once.


Winter is coming, with the solstice arriving Tuesday, bringing the longest night of the year. Enough of seeing your still-green grass coated with frost, or the pumpkins rotting on the front stoop. The rake is put away. Before long a soft blanket of snow will make the world seem right again, like a goodnight kiss and a warm comforter pulled to your chin.

Arthur Brown, 77, from Hyde Park stretched before taking an early morning swim at Houghton’s Pond in the Blue Hills Reservation on Sept 23. He said the water felt like it was about 70 degrees. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Red russula mushrooms rose from the pine needles covering a front yard in Pembroke on Sept. 30.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Joey Russell, 14 months, from Franklin, explored a field of sunflowers which were still in bloom on a warm day at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Oct. 7.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A sea of trees in their autumnal glory framed a car descending the Mt. Washington Auto road in Pinkham Notch, N.H., on Oct. 15. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A man stretched while doing yoga on the bandstand floor in the Factory Point Town Green in Manchester Center, Vt., on Oct. 11. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A sliver of the moon was visible in the twilight sky above Fruitlands Museum in Harvard on Nov. 6. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
The surf pounded the shoreline along Glades Road in Scituate as high tide approached after a nor’easter hit the region on Oct. 28.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Hundreds circled a bonfire at Fruitlands Museum grounds in Harvard during the annual bonfire. “This is wicked tribal.” said a spectator. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Frost weighed upon a late-blooming rose as the temperature fell to 25 degrees on Nov. 6. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
The shadow of a giant oak tree created a pattern along the side of the Halifax Congregational Church on Dec. 2. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Oak trees felled by a late October nor’easter were cut and stacked in a Pembroke front yard on Nov. 24.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A Christmas tree lit up a room in a farm house on Thompson Street in Halifax at dusk on Dec. 7.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
With the temperature at 21 degrees, Drew Houser used his Suffolk Punch draft horses to move logs he cut down at his Two Tides Horse Farm in Brooks, Maine, on Dec. 8. He has been logging for 10 years clearing land the traditional way with horses. This method is gaining popularity again because it is a sustainable form of logging. It’s easier in the colder months to pull logs with horses because the ground is harder, but he still works at it year-round. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A cardinal was framed by snow-covered branches in a Pembroke yard. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
A lone pickup truck traveled along snow-covered Brooks Road in Thorndike, Maine, during afternoon snow on Dec. 8.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff