On the Trail: Here’s hoping for good leaf peeping
September 25, 2013
The wet end to summer and start to fall has kept leaves of deciduous trees green, green, green, but if a bike ride up the Fryingpan Valley last weekend was any indication, there's a good chance for rust-colored foliage.
A friend was preparing for a century ride in Arkansas this weekend and asked me to get in a road ride with lots of miles to prepare Saturday. I was game even though I've been doing a lot more hiking than biking lately. We decided to ride to the end of the pavement on Frying Pan Road, making for a 65-mile round-trip from his house.
At that time, I'd say maybe 10 percent of the aspen leaves had turned in the Fryingpan, and that might be overstating it. Up around mile marker 17, toward the upper part of the reservoir, we saw some of the rust-colored leaves that I like best.
Traveling higher in elevation didn't seem to make much of a difference in the changing of the quakies. More leaves on the bushes and ground cover had turned, though, when we got above Meredith and Thomasville.
Friends traveling to Redstone on Sunday reported very little turning of leaves in the Crystal River Valley.
Online sources are vague on whether the wet weather will result in vibrant colors or leaves that hang on for a long time, then turn black and fall. One website said wet weather might make trees display dull colors, and it will shorten the time colored leaves remain on trees.
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The ideal scenario for leaf-peepers will apparently be sunny, warm days with cool but not freezing nights. Let's hope we get 'em.