Collecting Leaves on Mount Jo

What do you do when your middle grade novel about a 7th grade kid whose leaf collection is ruining her life is off in New York City being edited?  You head for the mountains to collect leaves, of course!

THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z won’t need my attention until copy edits are complete, and the Adirondacks were postcard-perfect this morning, so we headed out for a morning hike so my own 7th grader could work on his school leaf collection project.


An American Beech greeted us at the trailhead to Mount Jo.


With almost no wind, Heart Lake was a perfect mirror for the foliage.


I kept tripping over roots because I couldn’t stop staring up at the leaves against the blue sky.


When we hiked Mount Jo a few weeks ago, this view from the summit was shrouded in fog, but today made up for it.

Our leaf collector came home with six new specimens — Mountain Maple, Striped Maple, Bigtooth Aspen, American Mountain Ash, American Beech, and Balsam Fir.  The rest of us came home with pockets full of rocks and pine cones, tired legs, and lighter hearts. 

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