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 pictures that in the album that follows this post.
Colors were quite good today – lots of bright reds from maples, sourwoods, blackgums, sumacs, and cherrys. Tulip poplars in places are showing up as bright yellow beacons in the forest, sometimes forming entire groves of yellow, reminiscent of what aspens do out west. Fraser magnolias are yellowing and then rapidly turning chocolate brown and witch hazel shrub leaves are yellowing up, even as this strange shrub flowers in the cold days of mid- to late October. Birch trees have started turning yellow, while sassafras leaves can be found in just about any color, although yellow seemed to dominant today along the Parkway.
Although my camera doesn’t capture the colors as well as a person’s eye, they were very good today despite the dreary weather: no sun to wash out the colors so they were more saturated when not obscured by fog or rain. In fact, overcast days sometimes bring out the colors, so don’t not come up if its cloudy!
I think there is hope for those who have yet to make it to the High Country. While strong winds may take down some leaves at the higher elevations, lower elevation trees still have quite a bit of green, and they should hold on to their leaves through the weekend. The best viewing will be right after the storm clears out on Monday, and through the next weekend, exactly as I predicted earlier (I said Oct 10-18 would be the peak color time, and for once, I actually got it right!).
I will go out as soon as the storm clears to give everyone a heads up for what remains for next week. I am hopeful – you be too!