“Precious Autumn Sunshine…”


This is the tree I see out my office window

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

A tree on Bowdoin College campus (where Nathaniel Hawthorne went to college)

A tree on Bowdoin College campus (where Nathaniel Hawthorne went to college)

I find myself thinking of the Hawthorne quote again and again as I go through fall this year. The foliage started turning very early, and we’re having a particularly mild fall—we’ve barely had a frost and usually have had a hard freeze by now—so spending my daylight hours in the open air (to borrow Mr. Hawthorne’s words) has been quite enjoyable. Leaf peeping season is in full swing. And boaters are enjoying the long fall to get out on the water as much as possible.


This sundial is on the Bowdoin College campus. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also graduated from Bowdoin College. He and Hawthorne were classmates!

Our long fall has lead to a wonderful season for photography. This post has some of my favorite photos of fall and the coast (in no particular order). I hope you enjoy looking at them even half as much as I enjoyed taking them!


The iconic leaf on the water, as MEH (My Engineer Husband) says



Sunsets have been spectacular as the sun shifts south…



Another view of last night’s spectacular orange juice sky and water (no filter!)

I think orange would be a good word to describe the season for me right now. What signals the turn of season in your corner of the world? What color? Are you spending time outside enjoying the changes?




  1. Micky Wolf says:

    The season is, indeed, delicious and spectacular! Just returned from the upper Maine coast several days ago. A long, long drive to and from, but along the way we savored the pops of apple reds and burnt oranges, mixed here and there with some squash yellows. Oh my, it seems I’m thinking of food, eh? 🙂

    We have had an extended stretch of sunny, balmy, no humidity days to introduce the season. We are now in the midst of light rain and gray skies. Yet I so appreciate all of it. And getting out doors as much as possible.

    As usual, wonderful photos! Takes me right back to the water and whoosh of the waves. 🙂

    • I love the upper Maine coast (“downeast” as Mainers call it)… so beautiful and rugged. Sounds like an amazing trip. Sunny and balmy sounds nice — hope your weather is still holding out to just light rain and nothing more wintery yet! Glad you enjoyed the photos — thank you!

  2. I wish we had changes like that here already! Quite a difference in Texas; most of our leaves are still a tired, thirsty green. The air does have that special hint of energy, but we’re still swinging back and forth between beautiful days and hot days. In the past there have been many Halloweens that were sweltering, and even some Thanksgivings that weren’t particularly cool. In Texas I’m pretty sure fall is as much a state of mind as it is an actual season. 😉 Here’s hoping fall comes soon this year! Your photos are just beautiful.

    • “Tired, thirsty green…” yes! Great description. We have some of those too. I love that sense of energy, too. I know just what you mean, and yes, seasonal changes often are a state of mind for me as well. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Annie, thank you for your kind words.

  3. Julia — The autumn season in Boise, Idaho is definitely upon us. We’re enjoying grey poupon yellows, crimson reds, and a variety of harvest oranges. The vivid colors are flirting with us from almost every tree. Like the east coast, it’s breathtakingly beautiful here in the high desert, too.

    • I can well imagine the beauty of the fall in Boise (having lived in Colorado)… those areas have their own mountain beauty! Just love the high desert and high plateaus. Breathtaking, yes!

  4. Cynthia Robertson says:

    Gorgeous photos, Julia! I so miss the NE this time of year. We are planning a camping trip to Cottonwood to see the color (such as it is) here in November. But it’s nothing like the brilliant scarlets and hot oranges of New England.

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos, Cynthia, thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you get some wonderful color and (no doubt) beautiful weather on your camping trip. I know what you mean about the scarlets and oranges, definitely unique to New England and the east coast. I miss those desert nights, though!

  5. Shary says:

    Gorgeous photos! We don’t really have much autumn weather in SoCal and I miss those bright fall colors. I do have some sweet gum trees with leaves that change, but that doesn’t happen every year. Last winter was so mild that some of them didn’t even lose their leaves. Fingers crossed we actually get our “rainy season” this year.

    • Thanks, Shary! Glad you enjoyed the photos. Sweet gums are gorgeous, I remember those from my childhood — they even made an appearance in my most recent WIP 🙂 That’s crazy that some years they don’t lose their leaves! Here’s hoping for a rainy season for you…. I know how much CA needs that rain!

  6. Gorgeous photos! You know how much I love your harbor sunsets. 🙂

    On my drive through southern New England to Martha’s Vineyard, I had the good fortune to see a lot of trees in all their glorious colors. An absolutely lovely drive.

    The trees haven’t started changing much here — just a few leaves here and there. But I’m really looking forward to it. It’s Reggie’s favorite time of year. He loves to romp through the piles of leaves. 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind words, Jackie! I can imagine Reggie romping in the leaves. I love watching kids and dogs leaping in the leaves — and I’ve even been known to kick a pile or two myself 😉 Your photos of Martha’s Vineyard were beautiful, and I’m glad you had a chance to see the fall foliage, too!

  7. Nina says:

    Yes orange! Fall is orange to me, always. Also, red, because I always wear my puffy red vest throughout October.

    Always love a good MEH quote.

    • I love the idea of a red puffy vest, sounds comfy and also adds color on those gray days. Yes, MEH has his own way of describing all kinds of things… glad you enjoy them!

  8. Erika Marks says:

    Julia, you have captured perfectly the colors of fall–and I don’t just mean the leaves. There is something so unique about the color of the sun and the sky and the water at this time of year in Maine. I can practically smell that frosty earth smell and the low way the sun hangs in the sky that tells you summer has passed. Thank you for taking me back!!:)

    • Erika! I’m soooo glad to take you back, and I know exactly what you mean. It’s the slant of the sun, the movement to the south, the way the sun hangs in the sky, as you say. MEH and I were just talking about this at Madeleine Point — why the sunsets look and feel so different. So wish we could stand on that dock together and take it all in. Thanks for your comment, my dear friend!