By Ruth A. Ringelstetter
Sing it with me…“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. No, not Christmas, autumn! Fall is finally here and it’s our favorite time of the year. In northern Wisconsin, the color is reported to be 25-50% to peak. In southwest Wisconsin, where we like to spend a lot of our time, only a few trees have changed color -- the ones that just couldn’t wait to get fall underway.
In truth, the trees that are turning early are stressed for some reason; probably from several months without significant rainfall. Some maple trees always turn to their brilliant shades early to announce the arrival of fall.
A few years ago, Joann and I were out photographing on July 4th and we came across a road in Crawford County Wisconsin that was lined with brightly colored sumac. We could hardly believe our eyes. For a minute there, we thought we had entered into a parallel universe or something. In reality, there had been road construction there for months, so we think the sumac was stressed from the construction causing it to don its autumn finery much too early.
Once the season starts, it progresses much too quickly. There is never enough time to take it all in. Watch the fall color report here and go out somewhere you’ve been longing to go. Remember, though, that peak means different things to different people. So, if the fall color report tells you when an area will peak, go a couple days earlier so you don’t miss it. And if any of you are reading this and thinking, “Oh, no, if autumn is here, that means winter is just around the corner,” put that thought out of your minds. Instead, hit the backroads and enjoy the crisp fall weather and the beautiful fall colors. You won’t regret it.