Sadly, last week’s showy color came and went in a blink — but was it ever a show! There will be no encore, however, and we’ll have to wait until next year to see leaves in vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. The oaks have changed to shades of rusty reddish brown, and most of the hickories are bare. Some sugar and silver maples still show yellow in the southern part of the region, but they’re fading to tan up north, or dropping their leaves entirely.
Throughout the urban landscape, scattered trees continue to display some color. City parks, street sides, and cemeteries usually have a variety of species planted, some of which may still be showing some color. For example, sweet gums are still very pretty, but they, too, are dropping their leaves.
The planted invasive exotic Callery (‘Bradford’) pears are very bright red right now, and it is easy to recognize their unwanted offspring on roadsides and in fields, since they add a punch of reddish orange to an otherwise tan landscape.
The cold weather predicted for Veterans Day weekend will likely bring the show to an end. This week, look at the more subtle changes that are still going on, such as the variation in the rusty colors of oaks, the golden cast in pines undergoing their annual needle shed, and the pale blue berries on female cedars.
Fall Color Hot Spots
If you go outdoors to enjoy nature this week, keep in mind that the November portion of firearms deer season will have a lot of hunters in the woods, so exercise caution and only visit public areas where there is no hunting. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, and city parks might be the best places to experience the last of fall’s Technicolor show.