High Country Association of REALTORS News

Leaf season 2011 draws to a close

Fall leaf colorsThe colors were brilliant. The views were outstanding. Now, thanks to a quick cold snap and heavy winds, the 2011 Leaf Show in the High Country has come to a close.

Though there was a record setting snow on October 1, a hard frost didn't come to the Boone area until the past weekend. The slow drop in temperatures last week meant a quicker than normal closing of the leaf show, according to the Charlotte Observer. Blowing Rock had a few leaves hanging on, as did Linville Gorge, as of Friday.

Last weekend, leaf colors were at their peak around 3,500 feet altitude. This weekend, that has dropped to 2,500 feet, but observers are reporting nice colors at even lower altitudes in some cases.

Howard Neufeld, an Appalachian State University professor who is among the region's leaf experts, said this week's strong winds cleared the trees at higher altitudes, but he said cold mornings will speed the process of color-changing at lower levels.

Most of the trees in Avery and Watauga counties have been wind swept. Now the post-color-celebration work begins. Time to find the rake! Kids gotta have leaf piles in which to jump in!

Here's a recent view in Ashe County, from high atop Mount Jefferson.