Fall Color Report

Post date: 09/20/2017
 Well, today's activities makes me think of the poem Maud Muller, by John Greenleaf Whittier (http://www.bartleby.com/102/76.html), which contains these immortal words:For of all sad words of tongue or pen,The saddest are these: "It might have been!"So what 'might have been'? Well I was out scouting the leaves and encountered a closed Blue Ridge Parkway just up from Asheville about 7 miles, and had to turn around. The Parkway was closed for the next 20 miles until Park personnel can remove downed branches and trees from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. This means I could not get to the...
Post date: 09/20/2017
 Yesterday I checked out Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, just outside West Jefferson, NC in Ashe County. This is a really nice place to view fall leaf colors, and to just take in the spectacular views from the top. You can drive all the way to the parking lot there by the picnic pavilion and then head out on the main trail for about ¾ mile to the Luther Rock viewpoint. It's mostly level hiking, so it's an easy trip. There are several other trails that go off the main one, and they all loop back so you can't get lost.This area is dominated by red, black and chestnut oaks, along with red...
Post date: 09/20/2017
 Today was a beautiful day – clear blue skies, followed by a thin veneer of cirrus clouds later on, with comfortable, cool temperatures - perfect hiking weather. There were lots of people out on the trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway and at Grandfather Mountain State Park. I like to see people out experiencing nature – I overheard one young boy say that this was the best place he could remember. How great to hear something like that!I have posted photos that I took on my hike today. I found a new trail that I highly recommend – the Flat Rock Trail, about 3 miles south of Grandfather...
Post date: 08/21/2017
 Not much has changed yet. I did see a nice red maple in Foscoe, just south of Boone, where one branch has bright red leaves, what we call "flagging". Otherwise, my report from last week stands for this week too!I added in one more shot of a beautiful sunflower. How appropriate for today's eclipse. You can watch it streaming on the ASU website if you want.
Post date: 08/15/2017
 Well, there haven't been many developments since my post last week. I do include a picture of the dogwoods across the street from my house. You can definitely see them starting to color up.Otherwise we continue in our late summer weather pattern, with higher humidities, making it very muggy here. Still getting ample rain too.I just learned that my university is playing UGA over the Labor Day weekend - in Athens, GA. All I can say is, Oh my!I've also included a picture of Mila, the fall color dog, and some beautiful flowers.Hope everyone has a great week. 
Post date: 08/08/2017
 It has been an unusually cool summer here in the High Country. Morning temperatures have been as low as 48F, and this past week, in the low 50s. We had to put on a blanket last night it got so cool! Daytime highs struggle to get in middle or high 70s. And the humidity has been low. Absolutely perfect weather.Some trees have already decided that it's time to prepare for the upcoming fall. The dogwood in my yard has already started turning purple. Note also on the whole tree photo (below) that the purpling is most noticeable on the left side of the tree - that's the side that gets morning...
Post date: 08/21/2015
 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 colors.The one major development this summer has been the outbreak of yellow poplar weevil (...
Post date: 09/03/2014
 Fall Color Report for August 31, 2014For those who want a short (< 500 words) summary of the state of fall leaf colors here in the mountains of western NC, I will post my observations at the beginning of my report each week. Then, below the report, I will provide an essay on trees that some of you may find interesting. This way, you can get right to the fall color report and not have to wade through my science essays. This past week, the weather has moved back to a more normal pattern for this time of year and we're back to our usual "dog days" of August. As a result, there is not...