Despite observing Fall Colors closely for the past 20 years as an avid amateur photobug, I have yet to fathom what makes for a good Fall color season and what does not. It is specially hard to forecast the appearance and duration of Fall Colors in in the Maple belt of Ontario. Rain in September, warm weather in October, one or two days of frost to trigger the change, ground water decline, 3 foggy days in a row … these are some of the theories I have seen proposed. But I must admit I have failed to find any consistent correlations let alone good predictors.
Down the Lane in Heavy Rain
However, this year the Fall Colors have lasted well past mid October – in fact they are just starting to peak right;this weekend almost a week after Thanksgiving. Fortunately the two things that I know will drop leaves faster than a “Superman moving like a speeding bullet ” => frost and high winds will certainly bring the leaves down in short order.
The Birches Hues
As you can see from the shot above the colors are pretty … well pretty spectacular this year. But some of that is due to the day I took the pictures. Today there is a light drizzle coating all the countryside in what I call rain slicker colors. Wetness brings out the saturation of all colors making the Ontario countryside just short of Moulin Rouge gaudiness. And to add to the effect a light fog leaves layers of transparency effect, sort of like this …
Hillside in the Distance
Even when you see the leaves up close, they seem different this year, curious colors and markings along with the drizzle collected into secondary raindrops:
Maple Blush Hues
But then again, maybe I have seen these colors back in 2002 – and those striped red markings were on the maples when the snow hit two years ago(snow makes for great photos but then quickly strips the leaves from the trees- the snow’s weight literally plucks the colors down). Yes, I admit, I am starting to develop a new a better theory of Fall Colors – but Mum’s the word as I just enjoy Fall’s Dancing Colors.
More Fall Pix
Want to see some shots from the same area 5 years later? Well Eastern Ontario put on another spectacular Fall Show in 2012 – and this observer is still grasping in the wind to explain why. Here is what was seen last Fall. Click on an image to go to the fullscreen slideshow with music [that can be muted if desired]:
|The Start of the Fall Season||Even the grapes and sumac became flamboyant|
At first it seemed that spectacular colors were a local phenomenon. But a trip around Northumberland Hills proved otherwise.
|Castleton had a pine glade afire with Fall Hues||Down the road Centerton had kept the Sumac Fires alight|
|On the road between Hastings and Roseneath …||Westward to PortHope found color enchantments too|
Then Fall’s wet weather set in with warm drizzles for nearly a week. This added luster and vibrancy to the countryside.
|A sheen of vivid colors||Sudden downpour in Campbellford|
The second reason for such a fine Fall was the persistence of the colors – maybe a 5-7 days longer – definitely for the poplars, birch and maples. Now as to why… sorry no insights here other than the fact that the frosts were late and the winds moderate.
|Even the forest glades sported delicate hues||The Brawn of the Trent Sevryn Locks|
But the making of the Fall for 2012 was the fact that the normally dull Oaks put a a distinctly glorious show – just see below.
|Scarlet Oaks against green pine||Oaks showed a spectrum of colors peeking everywhere|
In sum, 2012 was a WonderFall.