Autumn is often
ranked as Americans’ favorite season, and, for many, the beautiful foliage of fall is a reason why. Yes, the sweater weather, the pumpkin-spice recipes and the anticipation of upcoming holidays add to its allure, but few things say “fall” like leaves of yellow, orange and red topping trees and littering lawns.
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me / Fluttering from the autumn tree,” wrote 19th-century author Emily Brontë. Still today, many agree. What’s so special about the turning of leaves? Allow these images to answer.
Vibrant green is accompanied by bright fall foliage on the trees above and flora below in this Acadia National Park woodland.
William Dodd, Maine, 2022
Few things say “New York” as definitively as the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River or the city’s iconic yellow cabs—and, in autumn, the turning leaves make them both more picturesque.
Ashley Lee, New York, 2021
According to scientists, length of night, weather and pigment all play in part in the changing colors of leaves.
KP Hurt, New Hampshire, 2018
Along the Genesee River, sunshine highlights the vibrant trees on one bank, while shadows darken the other.
Caitlin Chattin, New York, 2021
A 180-degree lens creates a circular perspective of golden foliage at the University of Michigan Arboretum in Ann Arbor.
Leslie Roos, Michigan, 2020
Leaves are reflected in the shallow water of a puddle near the Tidal Basin on the National Mall.
Alice Wang, Washington, D.C., 2021
Is it fall or winter? An early October snowfall covers the colorful canopies of autumn, reminding us how quickly seasons can change—figuratively and literally.
Manish Mamtani, Massachusetts, 2020
Orange-and-green isn’t the most popular color combination, but it’s a winning one when it comes to the transitioning leaves of this tree.
Marilyn Schulte, Michigan, 2020
Sharply contrasting colors give way to an ombre display of vibrant leaves cascading down a mountain.
Brad Balfour, Vermont, 2021
A lot is made of the beautiful leaves, but where would they be without the roots, trunks and branches that support them?
Jim LaRocco, Vermont, 2021
A motion technique was used to capture this blurred image of tall aspen trees with yellow leaves.
Jim Guerard, Wyoming, 2021
Trees displaying the warm tones of autumn line the Milwaukee River.
Justin Molter, Wisconsin, 2020
Although thin, white trunks make the quaking aspen tree distinct, it’s the fluttering of its leaves that gives the species its name.
Rex Naden, Colorado, 2019
Skyscrapers may dwarf the size of Central Park’s trees, but nothing could detract from their natural beauty, especially during autumn.
Ashley Lee, New York, 2022