One of my all time favorite books is Earth From Above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which presents a pilot's-eye view of the earth. It's remarkable that even from great heights, Bertrand's photographs reveal the subtle characteristics of land-dwelling humanity.
Living in New England, this is the time of year when I most want Bertrand's thousand-foot perspective because my little corner of the world is just the most remarkable place right this very minute.
Tomorrow, If the day is clear, I'll go flying with my friend David Paqua in his Acro Sport, a biplane he built on the second floor of his glass shop in Stamford. We'll zoom around the Berkshires while I try to capture on film what can't be captured, the golds, reds and oranges that announce the melancholy departure of one season and the glorious arrival of another.
Those of you who don't live in New England, I'm sorry.
You might wish to be me tomorrow, but there are alternatives. Somebody in the marketing department of Cheapflights.com, a website that features last-minute travel bargains, shares my sensibilities. Just in time to grab some of the best color of fall, they've assembled a list of 10 destinations where travelers can take hot air balloon foliage flights. Some are near, some are far.
But having spent a weekend at the Plano Balloon Festival in Texas last month gaping at these lumbering works of art, I must say Cheapflights' idea is brilliant. Outside of David's little plane, there are few other vehicles as up-to-the-task of loosening our earth bound ties and letting us enjoy the season from above.
Photo: Flickr/Wendy Seltzer