The Fall equinox occurred on September 23rd at 02:50 AM EDT (in the Northern Hemisphere); it is now officially Autumn.
On a drive through the North Carolina mountain towns of Boone and Blowing Rock last weekend, we noticed the faint beginnings of leaf color change: the brush of red on non-indigenous maple tree plantings, a scattered tinge of yellow.
Peak leaf season is predicted to be during the second and third weeks in the Appalachian mountains, but optimal dates for leaf viewing vary across the nation. The 2023 Fall Foliage Prediction Map lets you see the best dates for your location.
The site also gives a brief scientific refresher on how leaves change colors from summer green to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.
As a gardener, I am intimately connected with the seasons. This is the time when harvests are nearly complete: I dug up Yukon Gold potatoes yesterday, the tomato plants are producing their final fruits, and I’ve begun the fall garden cleanup in preparation for spring planting.
Autumn has begun its slow melt into winter. Make time to enjoy the color display. Take a walk in the crunchy leaf litter. Unpack sweaters and scarves. Sip warm apple cider. Savor the season.
What will you do with this precious Autumn?