High Country Association of REALTORS News

Hints of annual color explosion detected

The High Country scenery in October is often breathtaking. That's when trees explode in colors of all brightness and shades, thanks to the annual turning of the leaves. Greens give away to reds, oranges, yellows and combinations of all three. The Blue Ridge Parkway alone became a magnet for art lovers everywhere who have a deep appreciation for Mother Nature's abstract work.

Reports are now beginning to appear that the annual leaf season has tentatively began (from Asheville Citizen-Times).

fall leaf colorLandis Wofford, news director at (Grandfather Mountain) in Avery County, said some red maples at the high elevation natural attraction are just starting to turn.

Grandfather Mountain, with elevation ranging from about 5,200 feet to 5,946 at the summit of Calloway Peak, is a popular leaf peeping destination.

“October is our busiest month of the year,” she said. “It’s vital to High Country tourism and businesses.”

Those fluttery, fickle little things are also vital to the Asheville economy, and especially to Navitat Canopy Adventures, a business just north of Asheville with trees implied in its name.

And, once it gets rolling, it should be spectacular.

Kathy Mathews, a biologist at Western Carolina University, said this year's leaf show should be particularly vibrant, thanks to low rainfall this spring. Mathews makes foliage forecasts each year.

Heavy spring rains generally are a bad sign for fall color, Mathews recently told the university's student newspaper. But “records indicate that rainfall was slightly below normal for March, average for April and May, and slightly below normal for June and July, as gardeners struggled to keep their crops watered,” she said. “These conditions actually are promising for good development of leaf color in September and October.”