Outdoors journal: Autumn colors

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT
  • Updated: September 29, 2011 - 11:05 PM


Millions of people drive countless miles on autumn weekends to see New England's concentrated palette of fall foliage. That's great, but people in Minnesota and Wisconsin, China and Korea, Germany and Sweden, and other locations in the Northern Hemisphere also can enjoy the foliage colors which often runs from September to November in their homelands. The overall peak of fall color for the greater Twin Cities area, to Northfield and Mankato, comes the first week of October into the second week. Last year the peak day was October 6.

Each year, trees, shrubs and vines turn color one after another in a predictable progression. Among the first to turn in Minnesota are the rich reds of the sumac and Virginia creeper. Then comes the green ash with golden-yellow foliage and the red maple with its brilliant red leaves. Many more species follow until we get to the midseason golden glow of the sugar maple forest and the fiery red of lone maples exposed to the Sun. The fall color season ends in November with the golden-yellow foliage of the weeping willow and European larch.

Some fall seasons are much more colorful than others as an early frost can kill the foliage; or, a warm, cloudy autumn can produce dull colors. The striking color changes that take place, as deciduous woody plants prepare to drop their leaves, are triggered by shortening days and cooler weather. Changes in color may also come about because of what we call built-in biological clocks.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question