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Author Topic: Fall Foliage Report 2019  (Read 518 times)

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RCKT_RCCN

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Fall Foliage Report 2019
« on: October 19, 2019, 10:19:02 AM »

Anybody got updates on the foliage at some of the popular spots? What are you seeing out there?
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Bazinga

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2019, 09:22:57 PM »

Hiked at Cave Run Lake today, some areas have nice color, but most of the forest is still green.
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wsp_scott

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 09:09:25 AM »

Was in the Gorge on Mon and Fri, mostly green with hints of brown, not a lot of color. I'm not sure KY is going to get much color this year with the dry August and September, it looks like a lot of trees are just going to drop their leaves.
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onemansadventure

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 05:06:07 PM »

Was in the Gorge on Mon and Fri, mostly green with hints of brown, not a lot of color. I'm not sure KY is going to get much color this year with the dry August and September, it looks like a lot of trees are just going to drop their leaves.

Agree.  Big South Fork, the Gorge, and Eastern Kentucky, that I have been in the last couple weeks, appear to be mainly just brown and losing leaves or still green.  Of course, there are still pockets or individual trees that are incredible. 
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2019, 11:00:12 AM »

I haven't been to the Gorge in 2 weeks, but I live 18 miles to the west, right on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau. We have less of the mixed mesophytic forest here, it is a transitional area between the Knobs and the actual plateau. Many of the same trees, but with a more neutral soil pH.

We've had the same amount of rainfall as the Gorge, more or less. In my 44 years living here I haven't seen things this green so late into October. Usually around Oct. 28th-Nov. 5th is the peak Fall color week in the Gorge... but not this year.
I think the 6 week drought has thrown the photosynthesis cycle off. The trees suffered a lot during this period. Normal Fall rains will send the remaining sugars down to the roots, and as photosynthesis slows considerably, the green pigments fade and the yellows, reds, oranges stand out.

Sugars indirectly raise the levels of all the pigments in the leaves. That crucial period of transition was probably disrupted by the drought. The recent sporadic rains may have put the trees into a "survival state" and in order to finish producing mast, for future generations and forage for wildlife, they are utilizing this final bit of moisture to do so.
I see this in some of the wildflowers as well. Some are re-blooming since the rains, so they can continue to form seeds. Better late than never.

I'm curious to see whether we do get much color this year. We still may, if a killing freeze holds off. I got my fingers crossed!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 12:24:09 PM by shaman »
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019, 02:09:05 PM »

shaman your analysis is fascinating. I suppose I don't know much about trees (wish I knew more). I did know that the peak for the gorge is end of October / first of November, so I planned a camping trip for that first weekend. It will be interesting to see if any color comes on by then or if these cold fronts manage to blow off a lot of leaves. Some of the long range forecasts are showing some wintry precip by that weekend.

I'm also wondering what correlation (if any) the delay in color change and leaf drop has with predicting the winter weather.
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 03:22:35 PM »

shaman your analysis is fascinating.

I'm also wondering what correlation (if any) the delay in color change and leaf drop has with predicting the winter weather.

Thank you! I try to put into words things I've learned over the years... and I often wonder if I make any sense to anyone but myself. I sometimes feel like an old mad-man just muttering, mumbling, complaining, blurting out nonsense and in the process, scaring people off. Oh well, I'll be 68 years old next month and, like many old people, I just don't care what anyone thinks. Lol!

You mention a possible correlation, whether color delay or leaf drop might have in predicting winter weather? You know, all the Farmer's Almanacs, old wives' tales, woolly worm colors, etc. "predictions" I've heard over the years have, more often than not, been somewhat delusional when you've lived out in the country and get outside every single day of the year. Sometimes predictions appear to be true, but statistically, they don't pan out over time. I always thought it would be awesome to pass on first-hand knowledge of that type of phenomena, but as I get older and look back on all the cumulative seasons I've witnessed, I've come to the conclusion that it is all pretty much random. I think the plants and animals react the way they do, pre-season, from their immediate environment, water access, nutrition, stressors and such, and everything/everyone is pretty much blindsided or conversely, pleasantly surprised by the weather. Obviously there are larger trends at work, El Nino, La Nina, climate change, air and light pollution, but I'm still not seeing much in the way of actual predicting of weather by local leaf drop and color. I wish we could, though. Maybe I'm just not paying attention as much as I should?
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2019, 09:16:04 AM »

We had about 1/2" of rain last night and woke up to a bright, clear morning as the cloud bank was moving eastward over the Cumberland Plateau.
I took this pic on our morning dog walk along the driveway up to the road and back. Obviously the morning sun gives a lot of the leaves (which are still green) a golden color.
In the foreground are the leaves of an Elkhorn Sumac (red) and a Tulip Tree (green) and across the pond, the rust colored trees are Dogwoods. The rest are a mix of Tulip Trees, Maples, Ash, Redbuds, Hickory and Cedars.
I just thought I'd post this as an up to date Fall Foliage Report. I will be heading to the Gorge on Sunday morning. I'll try to get some more pics then.


« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 03:46:27 PM by shaman »
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 11:01:39 AM »

shaman thanks again for your hard work and input. Beautiful photo! You've got quite the nice place there.

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wsp_scott

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 07:40:06 PM »

I was back in the gorge today, out to Hansons point and the Veranda as well as a horrible bushwack to find a waterfall that ended up being a noisy trickle :)

It looks like there is some colors developing, but there are a lot of brown leaves mixed in with the green ones. I'll try to post a photo from a view point in the next couple of days. But, for anyone who is planning a trip for fall colors, I'd guess we have a couple weeks to whatever the peak is going to be.
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 08:14:38 PM »

shaman thanks again for your hard work and input. Beautiful photo! You've got quite the nice place there.

Hey, I really appreciate the comment, actually it's not real hard work, just an old guy puttering around the trees in retirement. But thanks again, my friend!
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Doogal513

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2019, 11:20:31 PM »

That is a nice photography page you have linked in there Shaman
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2019, 10:49:12 AM »

That is a nice photography page you have linked in there Shaman

Thank you, Doogal513.
I have about 5,000 pictures on there that go way back to 2002. Some are good, others not so good. Taken with very early digital cameras, old film scans, cell phones of dubious quality and some decent DSLR's. It's just a hobby of mine. I've never tried to make any money from them, I just like to capture what I see or feel.
Thank you for taking the time to look, I really appreciate it!
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2019, 09:14:59 PM »

Itís going to be interesting to wake up tomorrow and see whatís left after all this rain and wind. Colors came on strong in central Kentucky this week. Iíd say it was close to 80% peak, but a lot of that will be gone by morning.
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shaman

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Re: Fall Foliage Report 2019
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2019, 05:22:14 PM »

Well I didn't make it to the Gorge this morning. My hiking buddy and I decided that the trails might be too slick with wet leaves over hidden roots... not a good combination for two old guys well past the half century mark.
Where I live, 18 miles west of the Gorge, we had some occasional light rain and then at about 10:00pm it rained hard for about 30 minutes. No real wind like the forecasters predicted, just a little breezy.
I walked around my farm today with the dogs and the leaves are changing, but most are still a dull green with a hint of color. Some maples, the tulip trees and ashes are turning yellow but the margins of the leaves are a dry brown from the heat & drought of September. A few of the oaks are starting to turn the usual reddish brown. Hopefully we can get into the Gorge next Sunday.

Here's a shot of my neighbors from this morning (cows make the best neighbors):





Here is one from this afternoon with Corri and the ever present Tom Turkey aka: Theivin' Little Bastard:




This area on the north side of my place is where I am part of a local college's research on wildlife corridors with a grant from the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act (https://wildlandsnetwork.org/policy/wildlife-corridors-conservation-act/). The students come out and track and monitor wildlife in unbroken forest extending from the Cumberland Plateau into the Bluegrass. They have a nice little set-up with cameras, GPS tracking, water quality monitoring and species census.

I'd love to know if anyone on this forum got out to the Gorge this weekend and could post some pics.
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