Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Almost Time to Peep Some Leaves

By Ruth Clagan of the Clock Shop Mysteries by Julianne Holmes

Leaf peeping is a great New England tradition, and Orchard, MA (where my shop the Cog & Sprocket is located) is a prime spot for this fall activity. Problem is, unlike a football game or dinner date, it's hard to schedule the perfect weekend for it. Generally, folks plan on mid-October. But depending on the weather, the amount of rain in the summer, whether or not there's been high winds or a hurricane, the time can vary by as much as a week or two. Some folks remember years where there was barely a color on the trees, but we don't tend to bring that up. It makes folks who count on the tourists weep.

Leaf peeping, for those of you who don't benefit from Mother Nature's fall show, is the time of year when the leaves turn color and paint the landscape in yellows, oranges, reds, and rust colors. It's just before the leaves all fall off the tree and need to be raked into large piles that need to be disposed of. If you don't rake the leaves the grass underneath turns this sickly yellow color and your lawn gets patchy. Or so I've been told by Pat Reed. I've avoided having a lawn ever since I moved out to the Berkshires. Come to think of it, I've never had to take care of a lawn. Probably for the best. I have enough to take care of in the shop.

Orchard does well in the summer, but our real tourist season is the fall. Folks drive along back roads, looking at leaves, buying pumpkins, picking apples, and enjoying the snap of cold mixed with brilliant blue skies. Often they wander into Orchard. If they get out of the car, they aren't sorry they made the stop. Coffee and pie at the Sleeping Latte. Local foods (like pumpkin butter) at the Corner Market. Books at Been There, Read That (if Beckett ever gets his shop open!). Clocks and watches galore at the Cog & Sprocket. They can even get a haircut at Ben's.

Yup, Orchard is a great place to peep some leaves. Eat some good food. Meet nice folks. Probably best around the second week of October. Or maybe the third. Unless they come early this year. . .


  1. When I first saw the partial title in my email, I thought it would be about Peeps. Yep, I just saw Halloween Peeps...fall is here for sure! :)

  2. That's why I love Fall! All the leaves turn color such beautiful trees. Love peeps too, I wonder if the stores will do them in pumpkin spice? LOL the stores here in California has almost everything in pumpkin spice, Love it.

  3. I love the fall color---it just doesn't last long enough.

  4. Fall was so pretty around Dayton, Ohio. We lived there a long time, but now we live in FL and Fall color is nearly non-existent. I will read any book about Fall color! My favorite time of the year.