Oregon’s fall adventures make national news!

Oregon’s fall foliage is already getting national attention! The L.A. Times recently featured us in two of their issues. Check out what one writer called “the unsung gem of the Oregon Coast”. Another writer highlighted Cottage Grove’s new Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway.

So when can we expect the leaves to change? The bad news is Mother Nature doesn’t really tell us.

The good news is trusty meteorologists from Eugene’s three TV stations know our climate and are here to help.

KVAL Al (his Facebook nom de plume) is first up.

“Our leaf bearing trees have had a nice spring and summer for producing healthy leaf counts. No dramatic extremes in heat, cold, or moisture. That should provide lots of painting easels for Mother Nature’s beautiful fall colors. When can we expect the changes to begin? Within three weeks. Shorter days and cool nights stop production of new chlorophyll that gives a leaf its greenness.

The greenness masks other colors that come along with other plant chemicals like xanthophyll and carotene. Once the green is gone we see the oranges (from carotene) and yellows (from xanthophyll).

We’ll begin to see color changes as early as mid-September but will see the most dramatic changes around mid-October. October’s here usually start out sunny and mild but end much cooler and damp. Just ask trick or treaters!

Where to look? Well, in Lane County a drive up Highway 58 to Oakridge can provide beautiful colors beginning in early October. A side trip through the little town of Westfir can be fruitful too.

And if you’re a walker or hiker you can’t beat the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum in Howard Buford Park. It offers a wide variety of maples and oaks and lots of color. Hike to the top of Mount Pisgah and you’ll see an entire panorama of fall splendor!”

Catch Al Peterson and his antics every morning on KVAL News from 5-7 am.

NEXT WEEK: Geocaching meets the McKenzie River. Find out how to see the leaves while venturing on a real life treasure hunt.

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