Fall’s Splendor from atop Mount Battie

Fall’s Splendor from atop Mount Battie
A view of Camden Harbor from atop Mount Battie

A view of Camden Harbor from atop Mount Battie on October 17, 2010 (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

A recent visit to the summit of Mount Battie inspired some interesting thoughts about the fall season.

Peering out in every direction, it was obvious to me why the state’s fall foliage attracts thousands of visitors to Maine each year.  The season is so alluring with its random swaths of reds, yellows and oranges splashed about along valleys and mountaintops. Like others, I find the colorful views instantly riveting and a sense of admiration, irresistible.

But for all the beauty of fall foliage, it occurred to me that the season is not only fleeting, it is also intent on concealing, even for a little while longer, what lies ahead in the coming months. For autumn can stir our emotions in conflicting fashion like no other season.

Fall color atop Mount Battie

Fall color atop Mount Battie (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

In retrospect, by fall’s arrival, gone are the playful days of summer when fun in the sun is right there for the taking.

Yet, the colorful leaves adorning many a tree seem to comfort our thoughts when it comes to the transition of seasons. Autumn has a unique way of conjuring up the flickering embers of summer memories now beyond our grasp but still not too distant in our minds to forget.

Behind this gorgeous cloak of a backdrop and its invigorating crisp air is where the fall season conceals its secrets in an almost compassionate fashion.

Autumn scene along Megunticook River near Mount Battie in Camden

Autumn scene along Megunticook River near Mount Battie in Camden (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr)

As I looked intently at the sea of color around me – suddenly – and without a sound, I noticed a falling leaf descend within my view. With its texture withered and its color stripped of recent brilliance, the leaf lands without fanfare on the earthy brown tones of the ground. The scene is a delicate warning that warmer temperatures, like the leaf’s one-time beauty, will soon disappear.

Such a melancholy feeling is exasperated by a stiff breeze in the air. Though the wind is still warm enough to linger about without discomfort, it contains a subtle touch of chill that one hopes the sun’s warmth will douse just a little while longer.

View of Penobscot Bay from atop Mount Battie

View of Penobscot Bay from atop Mount Battie, with Mount Desert Island in the distance (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

At this point, I turned to leave Mount Battie, but not before I was reminded that fall is my favorite season of all despite its conflicting nature. As much as autumn’s beauty is irresistible, I also enjoy the season immensely for the feelings it inspires.

To me, it transforms the many happy moments of summer just past into bright, colorful, lasting memories in my mind – memories with family and friends out and about in Maine that I’ll cherish and recall when later this year, winter’s cold and snow sets in for its annual stay.

Driving down the mountain, leaves continued to fall about the landscape, but for now, there is still more than a trace of color on the trees, crisp air to soak up and Maine’s one-of-a-kind scenery to be enjoyed. Winter can wait for a little while longer!

A view of Curtis Island at the head of Camden Harbor

A view of Curtis Island at the head of Camden Harbor from atop Mount Battie (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Fall splendor along Megunticook River

Fall splendor along Megunticook River near Mount Battie in Camden, Maine (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

A view of Mount Battie from Camden Harbor

A view of Mount Battie from Camden Harbor (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Camden Harbor, Maine

Camden Harbor, Maine (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

With fall color still hanging around, winter can wait!

With fall color still hanging around, winter can wait! (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)