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New England foliage fascinates 'leaf-peepers'

leaves October 19, 1996
Web posted at: 1:30 p.m. EDT

SOUTHINGTON, Connecticut (CNN) -- They're called "leaf- peepers" and they flock by the thousands to New England every fall, drawn to the quiet countryside by its spellbinding foliage.

"I'm a leaf peeper," a foliage-gaping tourist told CNN.

Another proudly added, "We've peeped at a lot of leaves."

On this bus tour through the region, brilliant colors from deep red and burnt orange to bright yellow dot the landscape. The tourists are awestruck. (23 sec./889K QuickTime movie)movie icon

"Oh, they're gorgeous," one woman said. "Absolutely unbelievable."

The bus rolls on, and tour guide Jane Perrelli tells the group that New England's wide variety of trees is what makes the scenery so unique. "I think, for that reason, it makes it the most beautiful area to do the leaf peeping," she explained.

The leaves are in such demand in the South that people actually box them up and ship them down, Perrelli said.


Bus driver Art Plude wouldn't trade a New England autumn for anything. At times, he says maple leaves blanket the hillsides, making it look as if the hill is on fire. "At this time of year, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," he said.

As for Perrelli with Getaway Tours, she understands leaf peepers' fascination.

"A leaf peeper is really anyone who appreciates nature. The colors," she said.(15 sec./156K AIFF or WAV sound)icon


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