Fall Color Report

Post date: 10/19/2020
This week I took the road west and headed on up to Roan Mountain on the border of NC and TN. Here, you can get on the Appalachian Trail and see some of the most majestic peaks in the southern Appalachians. This is a popular hiking and camping location and you will meet lots of people hiking both north and south on the trail. When you get to the top, at Carver’s Gap, the elevation is 5,512’, with peaks on either side going up another 300-500’, with the summit of Roan Mt at 6,285’. This place can get crowded, making it hard to find a parking place, but if you get there early, no problem. I...
Post date: 10/13/2020
I went out on the Blue Ridge Parkway today to see how the leaves survived the storms that rolled in on Friday and stayed until Monday. Luckily, for us, the rains were fairly gentle and there was no wind to speak of, so while a goodly number of leaves did fall off over the weekend, most remained on the trees. Which means that they are there and showing off some great colors now! Today was a spectacular leaf looking day – skies were clear blue beginning late morning and the leaf colors were bright and varied.Today in my opinion was peak color day on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone Fork, south...
Post date: 10/13/2020
Colors are peaking now along the Blue Ridge Parkway at elevations 4,000’ and above, but the remnants of Hurricane Delta also are moving into the region. Today we had steady, but gentle rains, with no appreciable wind, but it still took down some leaves. However, earlier in the day, the views were very good and lot of people were out leaf looking. Colors were near peak and it was quite spectacular compared to years past! Had it not rained, this would have been one of the two best weekends this season to view the leaves. I did get out early this morning when the rain was lighter and took the...
Post date: 10/06/2020
Sorry for being a day late, but I ran out of hours yesterday! I need more than 24 hrs to get everything done in a day!I’ve divided my report into two parts: one focuses on the urban trees that are showing great colors now, and the other shows off what I found on Sunday at Beacon Heights and along the Parkway.The most common urban tree for fall color is the red maple, and most are in full color now in Boone. There are numerous varieties available that are marketed by nurseries with names like Autumn Blaze, October Glory, Red Sunset, and Brandywine. Autumn Blaze and Red Sunset are probably the...
Post date: 09/28/2020
Wow, somebody hit the color switch this week! From Thursday to Sat, the colors just popped out all around Boone and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This cool weather has really jump started the fall color season for us this year. Between Boone and Grandfather Mountain there is noticeable color, maybe even up to 20% in some places, and it is progressing quickly. The next two days will be warm, but then after some rain on Monday and Tuesday, we are supposed to get some of our coldest weather yet, and that should push the trees to color up quickly after that happens. I got up early today and...
Post date: 09/21/2020
Today was just spectacular – deep blue skies, low humidity, and most importantly, low temperature. It was 39F at my home this morning and tomorrow it is supposed to get down to 34F! These are the perfect conditions for jump-starting the fall foliage season. Cool temperatures, especially night temperatures, sunny skies, and low humidity (actually we don’t know how humidity affects fall leaf colors!) are what we need for bright fall colors and for those colors to be timed near the long-term average dates. If things keep up like this, we’ll be back to normal timing. However, I do hear the...
Post date: 09/21/2020
Here's a nice article from the Washington Post about fall colors. Also, the Foliage Network, which I usually mention in my posts, is not doing forecasts this year because they couldn't find enough people to do them. That's somewhat depressing! But yours truly will be going out to check on the NC mountains for you.You can also follow forecasts at Our State Magazine on their website at: https://www.ourstate.com/our-favorite-north-carolina-fall-mountain-views/Here's the Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/ready-fall-this-tool-will-tell-you-exactly-when-...
Post date: 09/14/2020
Last weekend during the Labor Day Holiday I was visiting my son and his wife near Atlanta. While I was there, we all hiked up to the top of Kennesaw Mountain in the National Battlefield to take in the views and check out the plants. As you might expect in metro-Atlanta, there weren’t any signs of fall leaf color yet, and what surprised me was that the visitor center had azaleas in full bloom! If you haven’t been to this national monument, it is worth the trip. The hike to the top is not too rigorous and you get a great view of the Atlanta skyline, Buckhead and Stone Mountain. Confederate...
Post date: 08/31/2020
Today I traveled on the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Bamboo Road intersection just north of Blowing Rock, all the way to the Lump Rock Overlook  in Ashe County, about 20 miles north of where it crosses US 421. It is at this overlook where you can read the story of Tom Dula, who was hanged in 1868 for killing Laura Foster two years earlier and who was from nearby Wilkes County. It has been said that he was innocent of the murder, and so there is some controversy about what really happened back then. The Kingston Trio made this episode famous with their 1958 song “Hang Down Your Head Tom...
Post date: 08/24/2020
Here's my report for the week of August 23rd. To sum it up: not much happening yet with the trees, aside from dogwoods turning deep burgundy now (they will hold their leaves well into October), and the occasional urban red or sugar maple starting to turn color and lose leaves.Most of what's happening now is a profusion of late flowering herbaceous plants, like green-headed coneflower, Joe-Pye weed, Ironweed, black-eyed Susans, Chickory, and many others. It's been a good year for flowers in the High Country, probably because we have had moderate temperatures and plenty of rain.  You...