Annette Devinney traveled hundreds of miles to visit Vermont.
"We love the fall, we love the foliage and just always wanted to come up here," said Devinney of Pittsburgh.
The pops of red and yellow are already impressing her.
"Oh, it's stunning, stunning," Devinney said. "I think we are a week early for peak, but good enough. Beautiful."
Already some pops of color are showing up, especially across the high terrain. But in the coming weeks we have a whole lot more to look forward to. As the days get shorter, the leaves will start to lose their green chlorophyll, exposing some of the fall colors underneath. Plant Physiologist Paul Schaberg of the U.S. Forest Service says this process can be accelerated by cold temperatures.
"The low temperatures mean the green is not replenished quickly, and as you see less of the green produced, then you see the yellows coming out," Schaberg said.
Some parts of our region see this process begin a bit earlier than others.
"That's why you see it first, usually at higher elevations, because it's colder there first," Schaberg explained.
Many folks believe that the red leaves are most striking. Red pigments develop after the trees are put under some sort of stress.
"We know from lab studies that cold, intense sun and even pollution can help bring out that red color," Schaberg said.
Generally speaking, chilly nights and sunny days strike a sweet spot for developing foliage. Some species, such as red maple, tend to put on a bigger show.
"Some species are very flexible in responding to the environment and producing red pigmentation," Schaberg said.
Foliage also requires something else that may seem rather obvious-- the trees must hold onto their leaves. Wet summers, like the one we just had, can prevent some trees from getting enough oxygen, potentially triggering leaf loss. But Schaberg says some trees are built to cope with the extremes.
"A lot of trees that are living in those low-lying areas are trees that are adapted to those sorts of circumstances," he said.
Good news there.
So, now we just have to hope that the weather cooperates and we don't see any big windstorms.
"We're having cooler temperatures in the evenings a lot. And with some sun, things should be great," Schaberg said.
The brilliant foliage is part of the reason that visitors like Devinney will keep coming back.
"We are already thinking about what we are going to do next time," she said.
A list that will likely include more leaf peeping.
Many spots should start to see peak foliage over the next 2-3 weeks.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-03-11 21:59:43 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:58:56 GMT
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman. Maryann Foster, 59, went missing the week of Feb. 24 and there has been no luck finding her yet. Police sayMore >>
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:07:01 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:17:43 GMT
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser. Authorities say Officer Adam Lucia was one of two officers responding to an aggravated assault call Monday at TopsMore >>
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:49:17 GMT
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife. New York State Police were called to the Best Value Inn on Booth Drive Sunday night for a report of a domestic dispute. InvestigatorsMore >>
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:14:46 GMT
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street in Burlington Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly 300 dollars from him. Police arrested 29-year-olds Andre Martel and Anthony HammondMore >>
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly $300 from him.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:01:29 GMT
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison. Police say Christopher Bush topped speeds of 100-miles-per-hour in a stolen SUV. The 27 year old pleadedMore >>
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison.More >>