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Fall Foliage About to Peak in the Ozarks

Fall foliage is about to peak in the Ozarks.
Autumn in the Ozarks is a beautiful time!  Now that it is cooler we are seeing the color!

Do you ever wonder about Mother Nature's recipe for beautiful golden, red, purple, and orange leaves?  "It's a combination of short daylight, cool nights, and then if you throw in some good moisture we should have a good fall," explains Alan Reed, Missouri Department of Conservation Naturalist.  Many people don't realize that warm days also contribute to the beautiful colors. "In the warm days sugar is produced and of course it cools off at night so that production stops.  As the chlorophyll begins to wind down then those sugars are not stored but rather they're changed into those colors that makes reds and purples," explains Reed.  Chlorophyll is a pigment that gives leaves their green color.  It breaks down with the decreased daylight and cooler temperatures, allowing for the pretty colors to show.

The fall foliage display is a little behind this year.  "It's been a little warmer.  We haven't had any of those really cool nights yet," says Reed.  The coldest temperature we've seen in Springfield this season is 41 degrees.  "Normally the peak is right about now ... the second week or third week of October," says Reed.  Colors have not peaked just yet, but they will very soon.  "The next two weeks should be pretty good," says Reed.

Reed tells us where you can catch a glimpse of Mother Nature's beautiful display. "You'll see lots of good color around Springfield.  Here at the nature center the hickories are beginning to come and they're beautiful yellow. They're really pretty."  You can even take in the sights as you drive through town along Sunshine and Glenstone.  More answers are at your fingertips.  The Department of Conservation has a new app for your phone called Fall Colors. "It kind of directs you to where the best colors are in this part of the state," says Reed.

Reed confirms that the colors should be beautiful this season.  This weekend will be ideal to check out the fall foliage around the Ozarks.
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