I had given up on it for the year after our trip north ten days ago revealed denuded trees and not much excitement. The drought has done it in, only isolated trees, Jasper, nothing to see here, move along. Yet we did keep seeing good trees, sometimes in clusters. Including, um, our own yard. I took my old route home from work this afternoon, and a lot of foliage looked great, whole long sections of it. Bsking's childhood home has a magnificent maple that this year looks...magnificent. Does it vary by species, or by micro-environment differences? The Red Maples near our house look fine, the Norway Maples have barely even started to change. When I see a bare maple, maybe I should pull over and check the fallen leaves to see what kind it is. There is occasionally a maple of particular intensity, scarlet with just a hint of yellow that gives almost a glowing, hot pink effect under certain conditions. I saw two of those today, in a year where they're supposed to be dull and disappointing.
Overall, still not a good year. But those who made reservations a year ago for Columbus Day weekend's foliage shouldn't be too disappointed if they are in Southern NH. There's no rule that says you have to get your hotel in exactly the right peak spot. You'll be driving around anyway.