Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Color Wednesday

Alas, color watchers, things are beginning to fade here in the Mitten. Fall winds have swept the picturesque colors off many tress, meaning it's time to start the drudgery of raking. But fret not! The lakeshore's typically cooler temperatures allow for slightly later peaking. Many Lake Michigan communities are just now beginning to see the pop of the bright orange, red, and yellow that inland cities have been enjoying for weeks.

A special thanks to Craig Phillips of Allegan for his photo of the brilliant red leaves. How do things look by you?

High five,


Manistee County: Color is past peak. There are many leafless trees due to recent wind and storms. There is, however, still color in the area that is worth viewing.

Mason County (Ludington): Color is at its peak this week. Steelheads are running, and the harvest is nearly finished.

Newaygo County (Bitely): The maples are shedding at probably 80%, while the oaks are probably about 25 - 30% shed. Heavy frost will speed up color and falling of leaves.

Mecosta County (Big Rapids): Seventy percent of maples are completely bald. Many oaks have lost their leaves as well. 

Muskegon County: Muskegon County is near peak! Tree foliage is roughly 40% yellow, 30% green, 20% orange, 5% red, 4% brown and 1% bare. 

Barry County: About a third of the trees have lost their leaves due to recent storms, leaving less color now than a week ago. The trees that are still green are mostly oaks and are just starting to turn various shades of brown. 

Eaton County (Bellevue-Olivet): Colors are at or just past peak. Many trees have lost their leaves. Maples are still holding some beautiful orange and yellow colors.

Southwest Van Buren County: The area is on the back side of peak with plenty of color still to see. The maples are holding well to their orange and red colors.

Calhoun County (Bellevue): Color is peaking now and in the next few days, especially with this abundant sunshine. Many trees that were previously showing color have lost their leaves. A couple thousand sandhill cranes can be seen in the area.

Jackson County: Many trees in the area have begun or have lost their leaves. Over 2,000 sandhill cranes were seen flying into the Haehnle Sanctuary with the glowing rays of the setting sun, bathing the marsh, adjacent trees (past prime color), and birds in a spectacular red-orange light.

St. Joseph County: Color is in its final stages with only a few maples remaining. Dry temps and wind have speeded up the "color process." Trees are quickly losing their leaves. Migrant and winter birds are appearing: warblers (yellow-rumped, ovenbird, yellow throat), chipping sparrows and red-wing blackbirds.

The small print: As always, we thank the Michigan Audubon Society for their weekly reports. This report is also available on and by calling the West Michigan Tourist Association Fall Color Hotline at 800-442-2084 x. 304.

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