Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Colors

If you live in areas of the country where it gets cold in the winter, one of the benefits is beautiful fall colors.  We look forward to it as if it was our right for having to wear boots and wool coats all winter.   

Face it, if you had to suffer through this past hot, drought infested, did I mention hot, summer, then fall is the reward we have cherished in our minds.  The memory is of the clear beautiful blue sky and packing up the car for a day of driving through the beautiful country side. 

It's a time for the county scenic drives when every small town has vendors selling pumpkins, gourds, apples and other produce.  We see bales of straw, shocks of corn stalks,  and various scarecrows.  Most of us plan to eat our way through these villages with kettle corn, candied apples, cider and other treats. 

The big question is:  Will the trees turn beautiful or simply drop their leaves after the drought? 

It seems the process of why leaves turn is pretty much scientific and easy to understand.  What no one has quantified is exactly what will we have THIS year.  The horticultural folks do their best to give a best guess, but, it just a best guess.  Can you believe I used best three times in one sentence???

Burning Bush
I've noticed the maples on our property are turning but as soon as a leaf turns, it drops off the tree.  Our walnuts are generally the first to loose their leaves and this year they are still holding tight.  The willow (generally it turns golden in the fall) has been dropping green leaves pretty study for weeks.  The Linden is almost bare.

It's possible they are all dying but I think this is live trees doing an odd fall because of the drought.  Certainly appears to be a sign of environmental stress.  Yes, this is my best guess.

On another note, my gardening friend, Kathy, thinks nut bearing trees put on more as a way of insuring their offspring will continue even if the old tree dies from the drought.

Another person says the trees are turning fast.  In other words, they are pretty one day and then they are bare.  If you want to do the fall drive, it might be best to do it when you see the pretty trees rather than wait until you have a moment.  Most states have web sites with a running tab on when and where to see the best fall colors each year. 
  • Many have a "foliage hot line". 
    • Illinois:  800-226-6632
    • Iowa:  515-233-4110
Pumpkin field
Now:  To plan this week end's Stark County Fall Festival (billed on their web site as "rural delights!")
  • Fudge in West Jersey
  • Chicken Dinner or pork chops in Toulon
  • Cookies in Wyoming
  • Fall decorations at Stahl's in Lafayette
  • Roll momma into the car for trip home...



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