I live in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t have the same kind of fall leaf season that I grew up with in the Northeast. I remember as a kid coming up over a hill and seeing a panoramic view of mountains lush with color. The colors were so bright I remember thinking, “The leaves are all the colors of Fruit Loops!”
In Oregon, our mountains are evergreen – with just occasional spots of autumn color. We don’t talk about the leaves the way someone on the east coast talks about the leaves. I don’t ever hear the words “peak color.” Thankfully our neighborhoods put on a quite a show – at least until the rain knocks all the leaves into the streets.
I’ve been traveling on the East Coast for the last two weeks and wondering when I would see some gorgeous fall color. It finally happened as we drove through the mountains of western Pennsylvania. It was stunning! Just like I remembered.
My anticipation of finding peak color led me to a few fabulous websites for tracking fall foilage. The Foliage Report has leaf maps for the Northeast, Southeast and regions. The WeatherBug site has a leaf tracker map and an article on the science behind peak color. Its interesting to know that orange, yellow and brown leaves come from the pigment carotenoid and red and purple leaves come from pigment anthocyanin but I prefer not to think of the science of it all and just be awed by the amazing beauty of our world.