Fall Color Report

Fall Color Report for the Week of October 9, 2016

Oct 11, 2016
It’s rainy and dreary in the mountains today, as we’re getting some light rain bands from Hurricane Matthew. The wind has been gusty also, but lucky for us, the trees are holding on to most of their leaves. Some of the yellow leaves and early turning maple leaves have been lost due to the wind, but the winds weren’t too strong and most leaves are still on the trees.The colors have started to jump out now – they are mostly the yellows and oranges of the birches, poplars, magnolias, and maples,...

Fall Color Report for the Week of October 2, 2016

Oct 3, 2016
Colors have started appearing, almost as if someone had slowly turned up the color saturation on the forests, just like you can do with your digital photos or TV, and during the week, they have become gradually more noticeable. Although green is still the dominant color, we are finally seeing the beginnings of the color that attract all of us to the mountains at this time of the year.However, we won’t see really wide-spread colors until the next weekend. So, if the weather holds as it has for...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 25, 2016

Sep 26, 2016
It’s been hot (like 10 degrees above normal hot) for the past week and we’ve had essentially no rainfall (just a mist on three days). You can check out the history of Boone weather over the past few months here:https://weather.com/weather/monthly/l/Boone+NC+28607:4:US. We have had only 0.07” of rain since the first of September and the last rainfall of any substance was only 0.38” on August 21st. It is DRY here and the drought monitoring system now has us in a moderate drought category:http://...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 18, 2016

Sep 21, 2016
The weather in the mountains has been above normal in temperature and below normal in terms of rainfall. The NC Climate Office predicts drought will develop throughout the mountains this fall, especially near the Georgia border: (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/…/expert_as…/season_drought.png). The higher temperatures could slightly delay the onset of fall colors, but only by a few days, so I don’t think you’ll have to change your plans if you’ve already decided on which weekend or weekday that...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 11, 2016

Sep 13, 2016
Another week has passed and there have been some noticeable changes in tree leaf color, but most of this is confined to urban trees and bushes and not those out on in the forests on the hillsides. As the pictures below confirm, the ornamental red maples are really starting to turn now. They have a very peculiar pattern of turning – first from the top, and often the east side, which then works downward with each passing day until the entire tree is a bright red. Some turn a lot earlier than...

Fall Color Report for the Week of September 4, 2016

Sep 7, 2016
For those of you who still have one day left in your Labor Day Holiday, consider coming up to the mountains on Monday. The weather is spectacular, with low humidity and cool temperatures, and it’s sunny with views that go for miles. Today was a beautiful day, and I was out hiking the Rough Ridge Trail with our new fall color dog, Mila, 8 months old, who is our new family member after the tragic passing of our other dog, Hanna,whom some of you may remember from previous postings. I still have...

Fall Color Report for the Week of August 28th, 2016

Aug 30, 2016
Well folks, I’M BACK!This post marks the first official fall leaf color post for the 2016 season and I’m looking forward to yet another great fall color season. So once a week, watch for my posts.One technical note: Although I consider myself technically savvy, I plead ignorance with regards to social media. I don’t use Twitter or Instagram (and if I do show up on those places, it’s totally by accident!). If you send me something via messaging, like Facebook messenger, I may or may not see it....

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,...

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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