5 Things About Autumn Color

by staff on October 29, 2011

Autumn Color in VAAutumn is so gorgeous around Charlottesville in central Virginia.   Our hillsides and mountains tip the colorful displays into eye-popping distractions.  Each year the colors are different … different timing, different intensity, different locations.   Here are 5  things we need to know about fall colors.

1. Despite the many theories about why leaves change color … temperature, rainfall, elevation, species etc …. the USDA Forest Service says that the most important contributor towards a colorful fall,  is the increasing length of night during autumn weeks.

2.  It’s the alternating period of warm sunny days mixed with cool crisp nights (but not freezing) that  seems to be the biggest factor in bringing out the maximum intensity of colors.  A drought or late spring can change the intensity as well.

3.  Choose your parents wisely.  Some trees such as elms never achieve brilliant colors.  They simply dry up, turn brown, shrivel and die.

4.  We are just ending the peak color period in central Virginia, but there is still brilliance in the southeastern section of the state.  Here’s a map of the peak color times in Virginia.

5.  If  you’re like us, you can’t resist the urge to document each fall with your own photos.  Here are some Tips for Fall Color Photography.

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