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powderfreak

Fall Foliage 2017

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Photos from a few days ago... Spruce Peak at Stowe... it faces south but it's also a high-elevation bowl that can radiate. 

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20% color change on Mile Hill, 50% for the white ash in our dooryard, though they always lead the charge.  Still a week ahead of average; we'll see how a week of AN temps affects that.

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Once in a while I still need to go up and close down the top of the Gondola if the need arises, which includes a drive up and down the mountain on an ATV...which still makes you feel like a kid no matter how old you get.  Over 2,000 vertical feet in each direction, fun stuff.  Here's a photo from the way down in the late-afternoon.  Warm but fall.

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I went almost as far northeast as you can in Vermont and caught these scenes at Little Averill Pond:

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On the way home I stopped by the Jay Peak area:

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Coincidentally Eyewall, I was playing golf at Jay Peak today. I was surprised at how far along the foliage is. 35-40%?  Here is a pic from the iPhone. 

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12 hours ago, mreaves said:

Coincidentally Eyewall, I was playing golf at Jay Peak today. I was surprised at how far along the foliage is. 35-40%?  Here is a pic from the iPhone. 

IMG_1291.JPG

Very cool and yeah it depended where in the state forest you were but that seemed about accurate. Definitely good pockets of moderate color here and there. 

Here is one more from over the cliffs of Broussard Mountain before large birds (Eagles I think) appeared and resulted in me having to land quickly.

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14 hours ago, mreaves said:

Coincidentally Eyewall, I was playing golf at Jay Peak today. I was surprised at how far along the foliage is. 35-40%?  Here is a pic from the iPhone. 

IMG_1291.JPG

I would say that's about where Mansfield is.

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A few photos from work...

I like how there is a clear elevational demarcation between the foliage colors from species type.  The color fades abruptly as you move up in elevation and species diversity diminishes greatly.

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Then in the lower to mid-slope elevations you get a much wider range and more scattered color with the increased diversity in tree species.

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3 hours ago, Hoth said:

Anyone in SNE surprised by how much color there is already? I'm seeing a ton of maples down here going orange. Seems at least a month early.

I am too. I was driving around Dover a little and colors are already popping. I came from a great foliage area of western North Carolina and even I'm blown away by how intense colors are this year. So weird to see foliage happening in mid-September rather than mid October to early November...

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About 25% color in the foothills, and 10-15% leaf drop in my dooryard.  The "early change corner", on Rt 2 a bit west of the blinker in New Sharon, is past the 50% mark.  It's on a very moist but not swampy site, and always a week or so ahead of the area's average.  Some handsome reds coming on. 

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Nearly 25% leaf drop around the house - not too surprising given the amount of white ash (always leading the leaf-off), but more sugar maple debris than I expected with change under half way.  No problem with Jose's "winds" there, doubt we'll gust even 20.

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5 hours ago, tamarack said:

Nearly 25% leaf drop around the house - not too surprising given the amount of white ash (always leading the leaf-off), but more sugar maple debris than I expected with change under half way.  No problem with Jose's "winds" there, doubt we'll gust even 20.

I'd be curious on your forestry thoughts regarding this return to summer weather...the woods around here are very confused.  Even in town we had some decent vibrant colors 1-2 weeks ago.  Those early near freezing temps and cold rainy afternoons had probably 25% change in town and as much as 33-50% up on the mountain.  

Now, those early turners have gone brown and muted and are just falling to the ground.  Meanwhile anything that didn't change during that first wave is still dull mid-summer green.  I'm walking the dog on the Rec Path right now and there are areas that are mostly bare or with leftover brown dry leaves, next to still full green.  

I honestly see very little color out here now...like green, brown or bare are the options haha.  

My assumption is we will hold as it is until we get cold again and it's almost like two peaks. One very early from the -3 departure August and -8 departure first week of September.  Then a second larger peak of color once fall actually moves in for good.  Right now it's between the early vibrant color and hopefully another round of vibrancy once the 50-66% still green decides to change?

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19 hours ago, powderfreak said:

I'd be curious on your forestry thoughts regarding this return to summer weather...the woods around here are very confused.  Even in town we had some decent vibrant colors 1-2 weeks ago.  Those early near freezing temps and cold rainy afternoons had probably 25% change in town and as much as 33-50% up on the mountain.  

Now, those early turners have gone brown and muted and are just falling to the ground.  Meanwhile anything that didn't change during that first wave is still dull mid-summer green.  I'm walking the dog on the Rec Path right now and there are areas that are mostly bare or with leftover brown dry leaves, next to still full green.  

I honestly see very little color out here now...like green, brown or bare are the options haha.  

My assumption is we will hold as it is until we get cold again and it's almost like two peaks. One very early from the -3 departure August and -8 departure first week of September.  Then a second larger peak of color once fall actually moves in for good.  Right now it's between the early vibrant color and hopefully another round of vibrancy once the 50-66% still green decides to change?

Leaf change phenology is something I've long observed but not really studied, so I'm not sure what I can add.  At home the change is on hold with the warmth but leaves continue to fall despite light winds.  I agree that the next cooldown with accelerate the change, but it won't be a double peak here, just a "partial-plateau-complete" sequence (assuming we don't get a howling southeast gale to strip the trees ahead of that later color.)   I've not seen the browning of early-color trees, though my white ash went almost direct to tan before falling.  Some years they have a nice pale yellow with a few leaves of purplish tint; not this year.

Sometimes it seems to hinge on antecedent wx more than current, 2014 being a case in point, one which fooled me such that we failed to get the last of our peak-color airphotos captured.  There had been little change - even the mountains were under 20% - by the time I went on vacation about 9/25, with warm temps forecast so I figured we were safe to hold the airplane until I got back for Oct. 1.  We got the warmth - 26,27,28 were 74,78,81 - but the foliage went from low color to high in less than a week.  Then we had almost unbroken clouds for another 7-10 days, and by then leaf drop had progressed to where we'd lost the project for that year.  I'd recorded mornings 26 to 28 on 9/15,19 and 20, and I'm guessing that cold triggered the sudden change that came about 10 days afterwards.  Maybe this season's early cool spell came too soon to set the full change in motion, such that the warm-up was able to call a halt.

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I am worried these heat waves may kill what might have been a promising year. What was looking vibrant in spots and progressing nicely is now dull or Browning out. It may be a year where you have to hunt down a few good pockets, most likely inn the far north.

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9 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

I don't see how a few warm days dulls out any color. The wheels were already in motion. Still should be a good sseason.

I don't know man...I'll grab some photos tomorrow to compare to my earlier and you'll see.  It's shocking to me how brown it looks haha.  Lots of leaf drop continues but color has dulled right out.  I mean we were ridiculously below normal in second half of August and the first 10 days of September...followed by mid-summer temps.  It's been just as hot as anything we saw in July and August.

From what I've seen it looks fairly terrible out there right now.  We had some great vibrancy right after Labor Day.

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38 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I don't know man...I'll grab some photos tomorrow to compare to my earlier and you'll see.  It's shocking to me how brown it looks haha.  Lots of leaf drop continues but color has dulled right out.  I mean we were ridiculously below normal in second half of August and the first 10 days of September...followed by mid-summer temps.  It's been just as hot as anything we saw in July and August.

From what I've seen it looks fairly terrible out there right now.  We had some great vibrancy right after Labor Day.

Why would it get dull? You're still getting some cooler nights there. I don't see how a sudden warm spell would dull colors out...unless something else was i the works. Has it been dry?

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Color tends to come in waves . Perhaps temps did play some role in slowing things down but my experience has usually been a burst of early change and than a lull before you start to head into a more substantial build up to peak than another lull before you're late turning trees ,, especially oaks finish things off with a late burst of color as the other trees are past or bare.    

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2 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

Why would it get dull? You're still getting some cooler nights there. I don't see how a sudden warm spell would dull colors out...unless something else was i the works. Has it been dry?

They are correct, in the last week there haven't been a lot of real cool nights. A lot of brown has popped up. 

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