Fall, Foliage, Maine, Spruce Point Inn, Boothbay Harbor, September, October

True colors shining through

You’re starting to notice them as you drive the backroads or paddle the coves — the single brilliant branches of color. The early maple like this one David Marx caught during the photography workshop last September here at Spruce Point.

Though it’s “only September,” the advance team is taking up positions among the evergreens and soon there will be whole stands of red, gold and bronze, each clamoring for attention.

But for now, it’s just a single branch here and there, all the more entrancing because of its singularity where just yesterday all the leaves were green, shady canopies over the Midcoast. The burst of color brings a sudden rush of excitement – for the fairs and festivals ahead, and from the urgency of knowing another season is winding down. Turning over a new leaf, as it were.

Indian Summer” is surely a Yankee invention, holding out the promise of a few more days of sun-basking; at the cost of an overnight chill that has brought out the bonfires and sweater (purchased in the back-to-school sales).

But there’s another reason those single scarlet branches among the trees bring us a secret smile here at Spruce Point Inn. They’re flags reminding us of the honor and responsibility we bear as the place Down East readers chose as “Best Hotel in Maine.”

And as the dramatic show of fall foliage spreads across Vacationland, we know the colors come with shortened days, as the urgent chlorophyll of summer tourism wanes. At Spruce Point, as among the trees, what’s left is our true color. Shining through the forest. Showing the way through September and October. The best is yet to come.