Where is the color? Check the report weekly to get an idea of where the best color viewing is in the state.
Here's our report for the weekend of October 1.
The calendar now says it’s fall, but Virginia’s forests are still mostly green. Black gum, dogwood, and Virginia creeper are early changers, showing a few flashes of red along forest edges. You can also see some yellowing from trees that were stressed by drought late this summer, notably yellow-poplars. These stressed trees tend to color more dully than usual and drop their leaves quickly.
The trees may be green, but fall wildflowers are in full bloom along Virginia’s roadsides. The main colors are yellow from goldenrod, wingstem, and tickseed and white from thoroughworts. These are complemented by occasional splashes of purple from ironweed and asters, and pink from joe pye weed.
Nature’s big wardrobe change will soon begin in western and higher elevation areas and progress eastward. Longer and cooler nights trigger changes in the pigments that give leaves their color. Conditions that create the brightest fall colors include ample summer rainfall, followed by a fairly dry September with cool nights and sunny days.
For a simple explanation of why leaves change color, check the education section of the Va. Dept. of Forestry web site at www.dof.virginia.gov, for a publication called “Virginia in the Fall.”
Autumn is here now, and things are getting mellow in Shenandoah National Park.
The biggest change is at Big Meadows. Big Meadows’ higher elevation makes it one of the first places autumn transforms, and she has – right on schedule – activated her alchemy in the Meadow again this year. As you gaze out from overlooks along Skyline Drive and summits in the Park’s backcountry, you’ll see sparse polka-dotting that mimics that along roadsides – freckles of peach-toned beeches and tomato-red maples, just here, just there. But the mountainsides are still mostly the apt forest green and eponymous navy-green of summer in this part of the Blue Ridge. Read the full report.
Escape, just the two of you, to Virginia's fall splendor.
Take the road less traveled. Enjoy photogenic foliage opportunities, great eats, and other hidden treasures.
From the rough and tumble on the mountains to the paved or
sandy shores, there’s no end to the scenic views and adventures Virginia
has to offer.
Last Updated: 09/27/2016
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