2012-10-20 / Front Page

Take It All In

Stunning autumn colors despite dry summer
By Scott Rawdon

LAKE AREA – Some predicted dull autumn colors this season following a dry summer, but that’s not the case this year. “It’s been remarkably nice here and in some places, it’s just getting better,” said Mike Ecker, Dawes Arboretum director of horticulture. He said Tuesday that the Dawes staff was still waiting for some trees to hit peak colors for promotional photos. Many of the local trees are still green. Tuesday, the forecast called for a nice upcoming weekend, which Ecker said may very well be the best weekend for colors this year, barring any heavy windstorms before then.

Ecker said some compared last summer’s sparse rainfall to the 1988 drought. “I was wondering if we’d have any colors at all,” he said. However, “the colors are really phenomenal.”

Ecker said one explanation might be the cool nights and wa r m, su n ny d ays we’ve experienced this season. Such weather traps sugars in the leaves and creates color. “Cold and cloudy is bad for colors,” he said. “I’m just glad we have leaves left.” Ecker said some areas have peaked now, but many are yet to achieve full colors. Either way, this season has been great for the arboretum’s tourism. “It’s been bumper to bumper in Dawes,” he said.

Photos by Scott Rawdon

Return to top