It’s not often there is a snow fall with colorful fall leaves still on the trees. But the snow came unexpectedly in Pennsylvania one night while I was away shooting further south in Virginia. Early that morning, I got a call from a friend saying about the new snow and how dramatic the scenery was with the colored leaves on white.
Immediately, I headed north. This was a light, wet snow falling near freezing, so it wasn’t going to last long. I set a course into the highest elevations I could reach quickly. That meant the mountains of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
A natural event not often seen, the entire day was simply a visual marvel. The unexpected four inches of snow overlaying the usual autumn scenery created a wonder world landscape that kept pulling further forward through it as I rambled down the highland backroads. Everywhere the land was full of surprises for the eye. Unusual and delightful were the words of the day…stunningly beautiful were obviously two more.
The day was still luminous with the fog and mist arching overhead making an even light of pale gray, as was the sky. Against it, the colorful palette of fall leaves had their best background.
Clear and direct while standing so solitary, this maple tree in an open farm field makes visual drama without the forest clutter. It’s a young sugar maple tree in autumn red surrounded and contrasted by snow white. Some of the branches have come down from the added weight and I saw this all through the woods everywhere too.
Location: near Donegal, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks
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