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Fall foliage season in the state of Pennsylvania is a spectacular thing to experience. With more than 17 million acres of forested land throughout the state, there are abundant opportunities to enjoy the trees, brush, berries and vines that contribute to this deeply satisfying sensory treasure.
The 2016 season proved to be quite colorful, as can be observed in these photos taken during the first two weeks of October last year. The 2017 season is off to a fitful start, however, due in part to the unusually warm and humid weather in late September. Early leaf-drop and patchy color are occurring in some areas, but these preliminary stages are evolving slowly toward more brilliant expressions of blazing beauty.
As the weather cools to more seasonal temperatures, we can anticipate the color transitions that lead to peak foliage. How can leaf peepers and fans of fall foliage stay abreast of the state’s best opportunities for finding fall foliage at its finest? One great resource is the Pennsylvania Weekly Fall Foliage Report (www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20033229.pdf) produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry.
The report tracks the evolvement of the season throughout the state, week by week. It estimates peak foliage in the Upper Delaware River region to occur between October 8 to 14 this year. Of course, the peak is typically perceived to be related to the visual color-scape created by the tree canopy. Those who prefer pools of freshly fallen crisp and crunchy leaves around the base of their favorite trees and blanketing woodland trails will enjoy an extended season that can continue for several weeks into early November.
District foresters in our region are predicting a longer foliage season and a different mix of colors this year, due in part to the wet summer and low temperatures in August and early September. No matter how this season stacks up against others, we are in the heart of it now. Head out as often as possible in the coming days to capture this fleet but inspiring process.