|October sunrise at Roundtop Mtn.|
I suspect this fall will not produce great leaf color here on Roundtop this year. So far it certainly isn’t much, though the leaves still have a ways to go before they reach their peak here. The color will certainly improve, but how much?
The rain last weekend brought down most of the leaves off the trees stressed by six weeks of no precipitation. That amounts to something less than half of the total leaves (unofficial guess). The remaining leaves vary from green to dull yellow with a few red areas thrown in. Green still predominates.
The recipe for good fall color is a warm summer and a moist fall. Roundtop really fails the moist part this year, but how much will the heavy rains of last weekend improve the situation? Is it a case of too much too late? Or, was this rain just what the remaining leaves needed to bring about some nice fall color?
I don’t have a crystal ball, so at this point I can’t say. I do know that I will enjoy seeing what transpires as the next week or so progresses. If the color turns out to be a dud, I will know that a rain after weeks of no rain in early fall isn’t enough to produce good color. If the color turns out to be pretty nice, I’ll know that rain was just what was needed.
Whatever the answer, the result will be one more piece of nature information I will have to make guesses about future years. Nature has more lessons to teach than can be learned in a lifetime, though each new piece of knowledge deepens my understanding and my connection to the world around me. That’s the best, I think, that any of us can hope for—that we just keep learning nature’s unending lessons.