Colors of Fall: Vermont Foliage through a Photographer’s Lens

By October 27, 20093 Comments
by Val Khislavsky
Fall Foliage highlights a JMMDS Vermont landscape design. Photo: Bill Sumner.

Fall is one of the best (and most colorful) times to experience Vermont–crisp mornings and evenings, warm, sunny afternoons, and of course, stunning foliage blanketing the many hillsides. People come from all over to catch peak foliage, which can be as fleeting as a Vermont summer–here one day and gone the next. By now, this year’s bright leaves have mostly dropped, but we were fortunate enough to capture some of their spectacle through the lens of local photographer Bill Sumner.

Morning views across the pond. Photos: Bill Sumner.

Bill is an accomplished career photographer whose work ranges from sports and commercial photography to intimate portraits and sublime landscapes. He works both in the US and abroad and loves “to try new ideas both technical and directorial to arrive at a unique visual solution for any project.” Bill has spent the past several years living and traveling aboard his boat near Miami, Florida, but has recently relocated to the woods of Vermont, and is excited about the challenge of a new landscape. Bill has been a pleasure to collaborate with, and proves once again that there is a wealth of local talent to draw upon in our community.


Grading around the pond and setting stones near the steps. Photos: L: Julie Messervy.

The subject of Bill’s fall photographs is a property in Southeastern Vermont which Julie and her team designed and have been able to watch develop through the seasons. It all began when a wedding was to be held on the property and the landscape needed some renewal. Julie saw a design opportunity in the existing pond and started to change its shape, incorporate large stones, and surround it with lush plantings.


Each season casts its own glow on the pond. Photos: Bill Sumner.

This work began less than a year before the wedding was to take place, and through everyone’s hard work, including that of Terra Flora Landscape Contractors (Walpole, NH; 603-756-3777) and pond builder Thaddeus Guild (TMG Enterprises, Cambridgeport, VT; 802-869-2754), the landscape was transformed in time for the ceremony. In the nearly two years since the pond was remade and other plantings were added throughout the property, plants have filled out, trees have matured, and the landscape has taken on a presence and identity of its own.

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