Went hiking at Flat Rock and Beacon Heights today with my daughter Gabriela and her dog, Mila. Forests are still green, but if you look closely at the summit of Grandfather Mountain, you can just see the beginnings of some yellowing at those high elevations. A lot of the color change I saw today is being caused more by drought than by cool temperatures. We haven't had significant rain now in about 4-5 weeks.
In particular, tulip poplars are dropping their leaves now - they turn yellow and then fall off. Same for birches. And sassafras has turned colors at least a month ahead of when it usually does, at least up at Beacon Heights.
Temperatures are supposed to drop 20F here in Boone by Wed, with highs in the mid 60s. Should last for about 3-4 days before rising to the mid 70s for the next week or more.
Importantly, we also have a chance of rain too, which we desperately need. So, some good weather news for once!
More pics from my Sunday Beacon Heights hike are available here.
The pics of the trees, which I took yesterday, show a tulip poplar dropping nearly all of its leaves due to drought. This is the most dramatic leaf drop for this species that I have seen in many years.
I also took photos today of the mountains above Boone, available here. You can see some color starting at the higher elevations. Again, I think much of this is drought-caused.