Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report for the Week of October 11, 2015

Oct 13, 2015
Today, the Fall Color Guy and his daughter Gabriela scouted out the Blue Ridge Parkway fromthe Thunderhill Overlook just outside Blowing Rock down to the Chestoa Overlook about 10miles below Linville. It was a gorgeous day, and the Parkway was full up with leaf lookers.This is THE PEAK WEEK for the Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain section of the Parkway.The same might be said for the Cashiers/Highlands area, according to my contacts down thatway. Colors have exploded out over the weekend,...

Fall Color Report for the Week of October 4, 2015

Oct 5, 2015
That pesky low pressure system that has been plaguing the southeast is still with us this week, but today it seems to be showing signs of dissipating. For one brief instant, late this afternoon, I actually saw the sun! We’ve had something like 12 straight days with clouds/mist/rain, exactly the wrong weather for good fall leaf colors. However, the saving grace is that this all occurred when the majority of trees in the High Country were still green, and were holding onto their leaves tightly....

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 27, 2015

Sep 28, 2015
Fall Leaf Color Report for the Week of September 27, 2015 Starting on Thursday of this past week, a low pressure system became stalled off the east coast of the Carolinas, bringing substantial amounts of rain and wind all the way into the mountains of western North Carolina and Tennessee, plus upstate South Carolina and Georgia.  However, the cloud cover also moderated low nighttime temperatures, and while it has been cool during the days, it hasn’t been getting as cold at night like...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 20, 2015

Sep 21, 2015
It has been delightfully cool here in the High Country for the past 10 days or so, especially in the mornings.  It has also been very sunny.  And as I’ve said for many years, if you get cool, sunny weather in September, you’re headed for good fall leaf color.  And we’re getting it!  So, if this keeps up for the next few weeks, we should be headed for a really, really, good fall leaf color season! Color has burst out this week here (and burst is the appropriate word!)....

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 13, 2015

Sep 14, 2015
Still green out there! But! This morning it was 48 F at my house, and probably several degrees colder at the higher elevations on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A cool front has moved in and dropped temperatures substantially, which is good for fall color development. But there hasn’t been much change in the leaves since last week, although a few plants are showing color prominently now, especially up on the ridges near Grandfather Mountain.Today, I hiked the Rough Ridge trail, which is just north of...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 6, 2015

Sep 8, 2015
The word for this week is …. “green”. Although this is the Labor Day weekend, the plants arestill laboring and by that, I mean still doing photosynthesis and converting carbon dioxide intosugars and starches. However, there are a few plants that have started to turn early, so if youcome to the High Country in the next few weeks, you’ll be able to see a little color. But for now,the hillsides are still dominated by the color green.The main turning plants are some maples (just a few though), and...

Fall Color Report for the Week of August 30, 2015

Aug 31, 2015
As the end of August approaches, we’re starting to see the very beginnings of fall color, but only sporadically.  The forests are still quite green and lush, but the sentinels, those early turning species, are letting us know that bigger things are in store over the next few weeks.  Burning bushes are starting to turn their vivid red (Euonymus alata), and dogwoods (Cornus florida) are slowly turning a deep burgundy red.  There are a few scattered sugar and red maples that are...

Fall Color Report for the Week of August 23rd, 2015

Aug 24, 2015
Although it is technically still “summer”, there are signs that the trees are getting ready for fall and winter.  Here in the High Country (otherwise known as the Paradise of the East), the dogwoods have already started turning their deep red.  The photo attached is of three trees growing across the street from my house.  They are among the first trees to turn each year.  Some red and sugar maples, which are also early turners, have begun to turn orange-red or yellow,...

Getting Ready for Fall Color!

Aug 21, 2015
OK, Fall Leaf Color Devotees - The slumbering bear is awakening and getting ready for yet another fall leaf color season in the mountains of western North Carolina.The spring and summer have not been too remarkable this year. While it's been hot off the mountain and getting drier (central NC is now officially in drought status, and even a bit of the mountains too!) it hasn't been so severe yet as to cause excessive stress to the trees. Remember, a little drought is thought to heighten the...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 26, 2014

Oct 27, 2014
Fall foliage color is still there to see in the Boone area, but the quality is quite different now.  We have mostly yellow leaves (tulip poplars, ashes, a few birch, white oaks, magnolias, and especially beech now), but they are accented by the very deep, rust red color of the oaks (black, red and scarlet).  A few red and sugar maples are still showing nicely, but the peak of bright red has passed.   However, I find these colors are still worth viewing! There is good...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 19, 2014

Oct 20, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 19, 2014 Gab and I took a drive all the way down to Maggie Valley, where we chowed down on BBQ at Butts on the Creek before heading up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP).  We took the BRP from there to Asheville, about 71 miles of driving.  Prior to that, as we headed along I-40 through the Asheville area down to Exit 20, it was apparent that the trees were still developing their color –we saw a lot of green, although the upper elevations had...

Fall Color Report for Week of October 12, 2014

Oct 13, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 12, 2014Well, Mother Nature hasn’t been cooperating lately.  Today was quite rainy early on, and very windy at the high elevations.  This has caused a lot of leaves to drop off, BUT, there is still great color up here in the High Country.  So, don’t be discouraged.  If you’re planning a visit, come on up!Fall leaf colors are peaking right now below 4,500’ down to about 3,000’, which is the elevational range enveloping most of the Blue...

Fall Color Report: Week of October 6, 2014

Oct 6, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of October 4, 2014       I took a drive from Asheville all the way back to Boone on Saturday to personally check out the state of leaf colors.  The weather has been excellent recently, and the cold front that moved through over the weekend didn’t take down very many leaves, which bodes well for future color development in the region.  For most of the drive (from the Folk Art Center northward) leaves are still approaching peak,...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 28, 2014

Sep 30, 2014
 Leaf Color ReportLeaf color is breaking out all over the High Country this week.  I drove up into Ashe County (see my photo album that I posted yesterday) and there was abundant color scattered throughout the hills.  However, it’s just starting, so we’re not near the peak yet, but it is on its way.  And if I was to guess right today, I’d say the peak might come 3-4 days earlier than usual, which would put the peak around October 8-12, rather than the 12-14th But I won’t...

Fall Color Report for Week of September 21, 2014

Sep 22, 2014
Fall Color Report for Week of September 21, 2014Leaf Color ReportFall officially starts on Tuesday, September 22 at 10:49 pm according to the web.  Fall leaf color though, has been going on since August, and it will pick up in pace in the next few weeks.  The forests are still mostly green, but this is the first week where you can really see color on the landscape, mainly at a few high elevation locations, such as on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain, the higher slopes outside...

Featured Faculty

Our Fall 2015 featured faculty member is Dr. Matt Estep. He specializes in Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics. His philosophy of teaching and a short description of his research make for fascinating read! 

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