Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Color Wednesday

It’s another week into this year’s fall, and the colors are turning inexorably. It’s chilly in the morning, and sunny in the afternoon; you can haul out your cuddly sweaters and promenade through West Michigan with friends and family - the perfect way to experience the autumn in its progression. Thanks to the Michigan Audubon Society, we know exactly where the colors are popping!

-Elisa, WMTA Intern

Manistee County: The colors are approaching 30% around here, with maples just starting. Ash and some hawthorns are in full color.

Wexford and Osceola Counties: The colors are at 50% along US-131 from Cadillac to Reed City.

Mason County (Ludington): The season is in full swing! Color on the lakeshore is changing quickly around 35% and inland about 25%. The ash is turning a deep purple, rich red and orange sugar maples are stunning, beech and ash are not showing much color, and the windy days we have taken much of them down. Ludington State Park is so very beautiful this time of year. Fields are full of bright orange winter squash; black walnuts have all fallen; chestnuts and apples are almost all picked.

Newaygo County: In Bitely, the oaks are showing 50% color, maples are at peak, and most others are about 80% in color. It is getting gorgeous out there!

Muskegon County: In Fruitport, the tree foliage is roughly 80% green, 10% yellow, 9% orange and 1% red.

Eaton County: There still is a lot of green in Grand Ledge; 10-20% of the trees are showing pale/light greens though. Farm fields are showing great colors, especially yellow.

Barry County: Around the Yankee Springs/Gun Lake Area expect 10-20% color, mostly in hickories and sassafras. Around Fish Lake you'll find much more color as is the case in most inland wetlands. The marsh at the Otis Sanctuary is full of rich browns and oranges, and you can hear sandhill cranes roosting in the marsh each evening.

Allegan County: The western part of Allegan County near Wayland starts the color season. The wetlands are just past peak with red maple, sumac, and dogwood fully turned. The uplands are just starting with about 10% color. Sassafras and ash are in good color as well.

Jackson County: The colors are at 50% in the area. Hickories and maples are near or at peak. On Tuesday night, 448 sandhill cranes were seen in the marsh. Other birds include American Wigeon and Northern Harriers. Fall migration is underway!

Calhoun County: About 25% of the trees here are showing colors. Oaks are slow to turn. Over 2,000 sandhill cranes were seen on Big Marsh Lake which is showing more oranges/reds than the surrounding landscape.

Van Buren: The western fraction of Van Buren is still only a spatter of red and orange. The sandhill cranes are flying high.

WMTA’s weekly Fall Color Reports are available on in All Things Autumn as well. If you like to call us, feel free to use the Fall Color Hotline: 800-442-2084 x. 304.

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