Photo Of The Day: Autumn Leaves In West Virginia

Autumn leaves are especially beautiful when contrasted against a crisp, blue sky, but there’s something equally stunning when you see the brightly colored leaves of fall paired with a dark, brooding, stormy sky. Photographer Ben Britz explores the aesthetics of the latter in this photo, which he shot in an unassuming shopping mall parking lot in Morgantown, West Virginia, last month. As both evening and a strong storm were rolling in, this tree’s leaves glowed with a little help from the monstrous parking lot lights. Do you have photos of this year’s fall foliage that you’d like to submit for Photo Of The Day? If so, go ahead and upload them to the Gadling Flickr Pool and we’ll take a look.

[Photo Credit: Ben Britz]

Hottest Destinations for Fall Foliage

Photo Of The Day: Fall Fair In Basel

Photo of the day - fall festival Basel
This year, we at Gadling have made a pledge to ban a certain phrase from our posts, one that refers to a particular activity that happens (often in New England) around October, when tourists drive around to photograph trees. Still, it’s hard to resist a good autumnal photo of flora. Today’s Photo of the Day does a great job of capturing the mood of the season without a single bit of foliage in sight. Taken by Flickr user Jason Rodman (his second POTD this week, nice!) in Basel, Switzerland, the image depicts a much-loved activity of the yearly fall fair. The people flying above him along with the flags even remind us of the annual shedding of organic material. Who’s ready for a hot gluhwein? This year’s Herbstmesse takes place October 27-November 12.

Send us your favorite seasonal travel photos for another Photo of the Day. Add them to the Gadling Flickr pool and be sure that we can download!

Five states where you’re most likely to hit a deer this fall

Leaf-peepers are about to hit the road in force – as they always do this time of year. While soaking in the burning foliage colors with your eyes, it’s only too easy to forget you’re behind the wheel, a situation that can lead to disastrous consequences. There are some states where beautiful foliage and deer prancing on the streets just seem to go together, according to a study by insurance company State Farm. So, if your autumn plans include scoping out the trees, make sure you look out for deer, too.

Here are the five states where you’re most likely to wind up with Bambi on the hood of your car if you aren’t careful (with the likelihood of doing so):

1. West Virginia: 1 in 42 (I didn’t see this one coming!)

2. Iowa: 1 in 67

3. Michigan: 1 in 70

4. South Dakota: 1 in 76

5. Montana: 1 in 82What’s particularly surprising is that none of the states usually considered to be leaf-peeping destinations made the top five, let alone showed high risk of deer collisions. Massachusetts and New Hampshire are low-risk, with New York, Vermont and Maine only showing medium risk. You’re more likely to wash venison off your hood in Arkansas than you are in New Jersey, a state where deer corpses are not uncommon on the side of the road.

Interestingly, the number of miles driven by U.S. motorists, according to State Farm, has grown only 2 percent in the past five years … while the number of deer/car smacks has surged 20 percent. From July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2010, there were approximately 2.3 million collisions between deer and vehicles. The average cost for an incident was $3,013.

[Chart via Terms + Conditions: Insurance Industry Blog]

Related:
America’s best drive: the Beartooth All-American Road
Ten most badass animals native to the US
7 of the craziest, most dangerous, most dizzying hikes in the world (VIDEOS)
The 10 countries with the world’s worst drivers

Take a Lake Superior leaf tour this Fall


When it comes to fall foliage, New England seems to get all the credit. But Midwestern fans of fall color need not be jealous. Just a few hours north of Chicago, on majestic Lake Superior, road-trippers can experience one of the country’s most spectacular autumn displays along the shores of the Great Lakes.

Starting from the bustling Midwestern port city of Duluth and driving Northeast towards the Canadian town of Thunder Bay, visitors will experience an ever-changing landscape of wild natural beauty and scenic autumn views. It’s a virtual art show put on by mother nature: vistas of inky-green pine trees punctuated by fiery oranges and glistening yellows, set against towering cliffs and the steely-gray surface of Lake Superior beyond.

Begin your trip in Duluth, one of the largest port cities on the Great Lakes. The city is connected by the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean more than 2,000 miles to the East. Along the canal leading to Duluth’s harbor, you can watch the massive cargo ships ferrying iron-ore as they maneuver they way in and out of port. From Duluth make your way towards Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, home to a historic lighthouse set above the massive rock formations of the lake.

As you make your way closer to Canada, make sure to stop off at Grand Marais and the Lutsen Mountains, where you’ll be spoiled by a wealth of great hiking opportunities. Soon you’ll arrive at the final stop in Ontario’s Thunder Bay. Perhaps the most famous attraction in the area is the Ouimet Canyon, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon” of Ontario and home to two knee-shaking suspension bridges.

Four New England leaf-peeping deals you won’t want to miss

Fall is right around the corner, and in New England, this means the leaves are getting ready to change. If you’re planning to be part of the influx of leaf-peepers to the northeast corner of the United States, New England Inns & Resorts has put together some great deals to help you make the most of your experience – without draining your pockets.

Whether this is your first trip to New England for this annual ritual or you’re already there and just want to get away for the weekend, there are some absolute bargains on the market right now. In addition to fantastic room rates, you can take advantage of discounts at plenty of local attractions.

After the jump, check out four great packages that will give you some good reasons to go to New England this fall.

1. Wander the corn maze
At Nordic Village Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire, you can get two weekend nights and two adult passes to the Maze at Sherman’s Farm (I went a few years ago and got horribly lost) for $220 a night. You’ll also get a coupon for $10 off at Yesterday’s restaurant.

2. Attend a scarecrow wedding
At the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine, you can spend two nights in a water view room at the Carriage House Inn and pick up a $25 dining credit (per person) at 95 Ocean, the resort’s restaurant. For $359 a night mid-week ($519 a night on weekends), you’ll also receive bike rentals, one-day tickets for the InTown Trolley and breakfast every day. The most interesting perk, however, is the build your own scarecrow kit. All scarecrows constructed will be present at the “scarecrow wedding” at Nonantum Resort on October 11, 2009, the kickoff for Kennebunkport’s Gathering of the Scarecrows Festival.

3. Soak in waterfalls, lakes and covered bridges
At Centennial Inn in Farmington, Connecticut, the “Get Up and GO for Fall” package includes a night in a Studio Suite and a map of the most interesting local attractions. Use the complementary $10 gas card to fuel the travels guided by that map, and be sure to check out the cider mill, gourmet cheese shop and vineyard. The first night starts at $165, and you can get another for only $99.

4. Do you need a reason to go to Newport?
Well, if you do, the “Tranquil Autumn Getaway” package offered by Castle Hill Inn & Resort has one. In addition to two tickets to tour one of Newport’s Historic Preservation Society’s mansions, you’ll receive a romantic three-course dinner, afternoon tea every day and breakfast each morning. The package starts at $1,520 in September and $1,112 in October – a bit pricey … but c’mon, it’s Newport.