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Finding Fall Foliage

If mashups are when two seemingly unrelated things come together, we have a new favorite mashup: Technology and Fall Foliage. That's right: technology is the key to finding fall foliage.

You see, we love the changing seasons. If you've ever spent the Fall in the midwest or northeast, you know what we're talking about. One day everything's steamy hot, then the next day the sky is impossibly blue with cottony white clouds and then BAM--the trees are rioting. Reds, yellows, oranges come out of nowhere and the contrast with the blue sky and white clouds is nearly psychedelic. It's absolutely beautiful.

In fact, we have a number of canvas wall art pieces that reflect our love of the colors of fall: Autumn Glory by Robert Kennedy, for example, or Saisons Automne by Eleanor Grosch.

And now (here's the mashup part), you can track the progress of fall's incredible colors with, yes, your smartphone. We've got three words for you: The Foliage Network. Or, more accurately, one word: foliagenetwork.net. This group is so folksy and enthusiastic, it's impossible not to be charmed. Every September, October and November, this site relies on its foliage spotters to report twice a week on the conditions there. Everything is compiled into an interactive map, so it's easy and accurate to plan a trip to a region in the Southeast, Northeast or Midwest when the foliage is at its peak. Many of the "spotters" are also B&B operators, so you can see how neatly that works out.

If you can't make the trip, there's a terrific little map that reveals dozens of webcam views of forests. They are updated every 30 seconds, so make some cocoa, wrap up in a cozy blanket, maximize your screen and you'll feel almost like you're right there, in the midst of the most impressive colors nature has to offer. All thanks to some pretty impressive technology.

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