Trees around the area showed their true colors this weekend in a brilliant display that seemed to just erupt up overnight.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry’s weekly fall foliage report for Oct. 19-25 said the region would be at an estimated 70 to 80 percent of its full color for Oct. 18-24. A little further north around the Erie region, the leaves were at 80 to 90 percent and regions along the New York border in central Pennsylvania were reportedly past peak.
As the days grow shorter and colder, deciduous trees begin shutting down their food-making facilities for the season.
In other words, the chlorophyll, which makes the leaves green, starts to break down.
As the chlorophyll departs, the underlying colors of the leaves start to show. The colors have been there all year, they were just not visible because of the green of the chlorophyll.
The maples are usually the first to turn while the oaks end the season’s display with their colors, while the trees are signaling the end of their growing season.
A few frosty nights have already ended the season for other plant life.
In fact, the National Weather Service office in Pittsburgh has stopped issuing freeze warnings for the region since it is past the dates of the area’s median frost date.
Meanwhile, a small buck decided to pose “pretty” in front of the trail camera. The photo almost looks fake. However, one is reminded that the camera makes a slight, but audible click when taking a photo. That noise was probably enough to make a curious whitetail pause for a perfect photo opportunity.
The cold nights also prompted several steamy mornings at the neighbor’s pond.
(A Walk in the Woods contains photos from newsroom staffer Anna Applegate’s daily jaunts around her neck of the woods. Tagging along on the treks are dogs, Buford, Sherman and Sadie, and goats, Kyle and Kennedy. Applegate manages the Good Times and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)