Fall color is beginning to make an appearance

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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Have you noticed? The trees are beginning to put on their fall attire — there is a hint of color on the ridges in our area as well as some trees in the lower elevations are showing signs of color.
As temperatures cool and we get closer to the middle of October, we can expect more colors in the leaves. As for right now, the National Weather Service says peak color in our area will be around the second and third weeks of October.
However, the leaves are going to change regardless. Everyone has a prediction, and it could all change based on moisture, temperature — anything really.
October is a beautiful time of the year in Northeast Tennessee, and it brings a lot of leaf peepers to the area. Adding to the leaf color are displays of pumpkins, fall flowers, Halloween scarecrows and displays, and fields of freshly cut hay with some stacks of hay here and there.
Colors in the lower elevations come from the reds of dogwoods and orange and red of maples, according to the U.S. Forest Service website. “Even though the landscape is still largely green, the rate of color change is rapidly increasing,” the website reported.
In Knoxville and the immediate area, leaves are already turning, with the peak season expected to be in the next week or two. Some foliage already is well along.
The colors of autumn are important because from Maine and Vermont to the Smokies, millions of people come to see the fall foliage, and this has a significant economic and traffic impact. Visitors and local residents spend money at local stores and restaurants, at motels and gas stations. This helps solidify Tennessee as one of the top 10 tourist destination states for travel.
Autumn is special in Northeast Tennessee and Western North Carolina. It’s a season of change, and the good part is that we can watch it all happen as we drive to work, or walk the dog, or even just look out the window. We consider ourselves fortunate to live surrounded by the foliage glory.
But, we must also see it as a an opportunity. It’s a chance to boost our economy through tourism.
The effect on the economy and tourism are important, but it is impossible to put a price on nature’s great annual gift. It is for all to enjoy year after colorful year after colorful year.

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