Photo of the Day (10-29-08)

This time of year in Ohio, it’s hard not to trip over a pumpkin. They march up people’s porch steps. They perch on hay bales in front of grocery stores, and they fill tables at roadside fruit stands. Some folks sell pumpkins as fundraisers. Heading to a farm to pick a pumpkin from a field is a favorite fall activity in this blocky sliver of the world.

When I saw Brian Brook’s photo of this pumpkin field, the eye-popping colors reminded me of two Saturdays ago when my son had an impulse to go bowling with pumpkins when we meandered through a similar field. I did stop him.

And there was the pumpkin patch last Saturday at Young’s Jersey Dairy near Yellow Springs, Ohio where we picked up our fifth pumpkin. We are not planning on getting a sixth. If we do, I know where to find one.

If you have any photos with eye-popping colors, send them our way at Gadling’s Flickr Photo Pool to be considered for the Photo of the Day.

Where’s the best fall foliage? You tell us!

There’s a saying in Virginia that goes “If God’s not a Hokie, then why are the leaves orange and maroon every football season?” Okay, okay, not all Virginians agree that Virginia Tech has the best football program in the land, but we are solidly united on the question of fall foliage. When the leaves start to turn, there’s no better place to see them than from a lookout point or a hiking trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Come to Virginia when the weather turns cool, and (if you can find a vacant hotel room) you’ll find a statewide celebration of our fantastic fall. In the Shenandoah Valley, especially, you’ll find art shows, wine tastings, parades, and special guided hikes and bike rides throughout October. Just when peak tourism season is ending everywhere else, we get a real boom from all those savvy travelers who have been able to admit to themselves that Virginia really does have the best autumn around.

I can’t speak for the rest of the country, though, because like my fellow Virginians, I prefer to stay here in the fall. But I have heard plenty of arguments from others. My husband says nothing beats an Oregon October. New Englanders tend to argue that they’ve got the best autumn colors. I’m guessing that wherever it is you call home, you think the fall foliage there is unbeatable, too. Tell us about it, then! Comment and let Gadling and our readers know what’s so great about autumn where you live.

Fall Foliage Map

We’re definitely drawing to a close on the whole Fall colors thing. I posted a bit ago about several places to go around the country (and particularly the Northeast) where the colors tend to rage a bit more than other places, but I sure wish I’d seen this map before now. Put together by the folks at CNN, the interactive map lets you roll over months and see what stages the colors are at. Pretty cool. Pretty useful. But it’s getting late, so you better use it and plan your trip soon.

Fall Foliage Links

Well, it’s that time again when deciduous leaves around North America explode with color and hordes of shutterbugs jump in their cars and gawk from their cars as nature’s version of Laser Floyd slowly unfolds before them. Of course, those living in places like So. California are, once again, out of luck. Folks living in states without seasons do not get treated to the changing fall colors. You have wonderful weather all year round and having no fall colors is your punishment. So there. Whereas those of us who live in the Northeast are soon to battle with extreme cold and ice clogged streets and sick commuters spreading their death spores on crowded subways. For tolerating these things, Northeasterners are given a week or two during September and October to celebrate how creative mother nature can be with a palate of reds, yellows and oranges.

And so, dutifully, as we do each year, we offer a few links to the best places to see fall colors in the hope that you will go out and see them, take a few photos and then submit them to our gadling Flickr site. For that, the best photos will be rewarded with a Photo of the Day award. Lucky you.

First, let us direct you to a list of the Top Ten places in the US provided to MSNBC by Shermans Travel. The list here actually covers the country, with Colorado making the list due to the changing aspen trees there. They also give a nod to The Catskills, the Columbia River Gorge,
and the Great Smoky Mountains, among others.

Next, take a look at this list over at Fodors, which provides not just the location of fall colors, but the best time to go. This list focuses on the northeast, including the states of Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and so on. I actually prefer this last link because they are more helpful in getting you there and offering info on hotels and interpretation. Of course, the sad part is that I’m late in getting this post up, so in some places in the Northeast the colors may have already passed their peaks. But I do know that this coming weekend is supposed to be one of the best to get out, so consider adding a road trip to your weekend plans.