By Derek Stoner, Middle Run Reforestation Coordinator
When asked what is my favorite time of year, I am often torn between the months of May and October. Both have profusions of color, wildlife spectacles, and great scenery. But the magical days of October when trees reach peak fall color are hard to beat.
Today was one of those perfect October days. After a gray and rainy day Saturday, a front cleared the skies for abundant sunshine and fantastic lighting on Sunday. Travelling the backroads of northern Delaware, one stunning vista after another greeted my eyes. Maples, tulip polars, sassafras, sycamores, oaks, witch hazels, and other spectacular native trees poured forth with color as a signal of the death of their leaves. (Technically, the shortening photoperiod forces a stoppage of chlorophyll production, causing leaves to reveal their true pigmentation “underneath” the green.)
While May is a season of re-birth and the start of the growing season, October brings us the death and end of a growing season. While it is tough to see all the leaves finally fall to the ground, they provide a magnificent curtain call to honor another season of growth.
Bravo for the great show!