I think if an alien (as in space alien, not illegal alien), with no knowledge of the seasons, had landed in Vermont in mid-August and had liked it so much that they'd stayed around until October, they'd be unlikely to think that a frozen, dormant season was on its way. Instead, looking at the colours in the hills and the decorations on every deck and porch, they'd be more likely to think some great event was imminent, and that the whole earth was preparing for celebration.
I once read that the Fall colour in Vermont was so vivid that it made you feel as if there was something wrong with your retinas. We're not at full fall colour yet, but I'm getting a sense that this statement was no exaggeration. Used, as I am, to looking up into hills that are perennial shades of green (since the New Zealand bush is evergreen - which has its own beauty), my impulse here is to rub my knuckles in my eyes, to see if, when I open them again, the remarkable colour has somehow dimmed. What I hadn't anticipated was the range and randomness of colour: I'd expected banks of red or gold. But on every hillside, in every field and forest, the colours are intermingled, red, orange, gold, yellow and green, as if an artist has bleached out the rich summer greens and randomly daubed on autumn colour in all its glorious hues. It looks as if nature is erupting with joy, not preparing to sleep.
In the towns and villages, the shops are decorated as if a special visitor was expected:
Lizzy and Bruce blend in:
While Grandma and Grandad enjoy the spectacle:
Around the neighbourhood, figures are appearing: