Cooler weather has brought on great fall color only in the last few days! Lots of bright fall colors can be seen from bottomlands to uplands. In bottomlands, along creeks and rivers, mulberries, silver maple, elms, and sycamore are developing vibrant yellows. As you move uphill to the slopes and ridges above the bottomlands, sassafras and hickories are yellowing as aromatic sumac, dogwoods, and ashes add deep purples and reds to the landscape. But the real showstoppers this week are red maple and sugar maple — they have really come on strong across the region. Sugar maples are turning beautiful shades of yellow and orange and red maples are showing spectacular reds. In towns, planted red maples and sweet gums are beginning their display, adding a welcome rainbow of reds, and catalpas remain a vibrant greenish yellow. Oaks remain green for now, but those with dark red Virginia creeper growing on the trunks are an interesting sight.
Fall Color Hot Spots
This is a great time for a hike at Hart Creek Conservation Area in southern Boone County. Located on the hills overlooking the Missouri River, the protected slopes are wooded with showy sugar maples, while oaks and aromatic sumac crown the ridges. All the colors of autumn, combined with the sweeping vista of the Missouri River, should make for the perfect fall hike. Be sure to wear an orange vest, as archery deer hunters are also taking to the woods.
If an easier walk is more your style, the diverse trees around Runge Nature Center are very colorful. Be sure to check out the nature program offerings so you can plan your visit (see the Events link below).