Trees and Foliage

Fall Foliage Scenic Drives in New England – Introduction

Fall Foliage Scenic Drives in New England – Introduction

Winter wonderland...
Source: Flickr

Fall foliage in New England really begins in August. The shortening daylight hours trigger the deciduous trees to begin the process of shedding their leaves. It happens all around North America, and all around the world.
But in New England it’s special.
Why is fall foliage in New England so different and special?
It’s a factor of many things but mostly an abundance of different types of deciduous trees, warm autumn days, and cool – but not freezing – nights. When these and a few other conditions are all mixed in the right proportions, then you get the world famous stunning shades of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns on the hills and mountain sides of New England.
Between mid-September to late-October, visitors flock to New England to see the fall foliage. These six scenic drives offer some of the best autumn views available from anywhere on the planet.
This is an introduction to a series of six articles that provide details and routes on each of these scenic drives.
The most popular fall foliage scenic drives in Massachusetts are along the famous Mohawk Trail.
This trail rolls out through the northwestern part of the state on route 2, and winds through the hills and mountains of the Berkshires, touching picturesque towns like Williamstown, Deerfield, Shelbourne, Colrain, Charlemont, and Shelburne Falls.
Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, offers spectacular views of the surrounding area and Mohawk Trail.
New Hampshire has many scenic drives in the White Mountain National Forest but at the top of the list has to be the 34-mile Kancamagus Scenic Highway that runs along route 112 from Conway to White Mountains Visitor Center in Lincoln. This drive is considered by many to be the top fall foliage New England scenic drive. It has beautiful forests ablaze with autumn colors and plenty of photo opportunities with walks along gorges and streams, and with views of the highest mountains in the Presidential Range.
In Vermont nature planted all the high peaks in the south – although the North Kingdom has great color as well. But arguably Vermont’s best loved fall foliage drive is in the Central Vermont area, around Killington, and the towns and highways of Woodstock, Rutland and Ludlow. This is deep in The Green Mountain National Forest area, and not surprisingly offers spectacular fall foliage color and scenery.
Parts of Maine are the first to display peak fall foliage color in New England. With Maine’s many driving loops to choose from, it’s difficult to single out one. But the Lakes and Leaves drive that touches the shores of Moosehead Lake on Route 15 before heading south on route 201 is ever popular. You’ll see unparalleled fall foliage views of the tree-lined banks of the Kennebec River, and the surrounding mountains on this Maine Scenic Highway.
Fall vacationers in Rhode Island have open roads and coastal drives to satisfy their leaf peeping. The 61-mile Rhode Island Coast Scenic Drive follows the coastline east from Westerly before turning north along Narragansett Bay, and eventually over Newport Bridge on route 138. The drive finishes over the breathtaking Ocean Drive in historic Newport. A pleasant seaside twist to a fall foliage drive.
Not to be outdone during fall foliage the state of Connecticut has in its own little corner of popular autumn leaf spotting sites, with some of the most stunning scenic drives being on Route 169 in the glacial plains which are part of Quinebaug River bottomlands.

Palm Trees – Uses And Locations

Palm Trees – Uses And Locations

Palm trees, scientifically known as Arecaceae or Palmae, are trees belonging to a family of monocot flowering plants. There are approximately 2,600 different species of palm trees, the majority of which are native to tropical or subtropical climates. Some well-known trees that belong to this group include coconut trees, rattan trees, and date palm trees.

Uses of palm trees

Palm trees have many uses. Palm tree sap is sometimes fermented in order to produce palm wine, or palm toddy. To make palm wine from the sap of palm trees, the sap is first collected by cutting between the tree kernels. A container is placed below the cut to collect the sap, a process that takes one or two days. The sap begins fermenting immediately and creates a wine within two hours. If the palm sap is allowed to sit too long, however, it turns into vinegar.

Heart of palm is also derived from several species of palm trees. Heart of palm is also referred to as swamp cabbage, palm heart, or palmito. Heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from palm trees. Because the vegetable is taken from the inner core of the palm trees, however, it kills the tree when it is harvested. Therefore, it is quite costly and salads in which it is added are often referred to as “millionaire salad.”

In addition, oil palms belonging to the genus Elaeis are used to produce palm oil. This form of vegetable oil is obtained from the palm tree’s fruit. The edible form of palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit. This is what is generally referred to as “palm oil” or “edible oil.” This oil is generally reddish in color and contains high levels of carotenoids. It is most often used in margarine or in cooking oil.

“Palm kernel oil” is derived from the kernel of palm trees. This oil is not edible, but is used mostly to make soap. Palm kernel oil contains olefins and lauric acid. Both forms of palm oil also contain a large amount of tocotrienol, which is part of the Vitamin E family.

Palm trees in the United States

Very few palm trees are capable of tolerating severe cold. The hardiest palm trees include the Trachycarpus, which is native to eastern Asia, and the Rhapidophyllum, which is from southwestern United States.

Other palm trees are native to warmer climates in the United States, such as California, Florida, and southern California where a tropical climate is prevalent. Other states with Mediterranean climates, such as the Gulf coast states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and southern Georgia also are home to native palm trees. Some desert states, such as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah are also home to some species of palm trees.

In addition, the Atlantic coast of South Carolina contains numerous palm trees, earning the state the nickname of “Palmetto State.”

Palm trees have also been known to grow as far north as Arkansas and Maryland in the United States, as well as along the Pacific Coast to Washington and Oregon. Some species of palm trees have also been successfully transplanted to states as far north as New Jersey.