"Head South For Color"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012

On an early fall trip South to Louisville, Ky., with my sidekick, Pat, I noted something unusual. Although the calendar said we were just about to move from September to October, Mother Nature was already on full, fall color parade.

We usually take a mid-October color tour north with our friends, the Millers from Bad Axe, but our schedules didn’t mesh this year. When we have gone in the past, we are often ahead of the brightest colors but enjoy the beginning of the changing colors. Some years, the color show awaits our snowbird departure in mid to late November as we head south. We have made the mountain trip on I-77 from Ohio to South Carolina in late November and noted a very pleasing color display.

I guess one never knows when to expect the opportunity to discover a panorama of color.

As we departed Huron County on Sept. 28, we noted seemingly early falling leaves. There was not much color in them, they just changed from green to brown. Few of our Maples displayed the color normally found prior to dropping and blowing around, they simply were all ready to rake overnight. We drove south along M-24 toward Lake Orion and began to see some color; trees just beginning to turn. We stayed overnight at our daughter’s, then headed out the next morning for Kentucky.

As we approached the Ohio state line, the color began to jump right out of the trees, as vivid as we had ever seen. The further south we traveled, the brighter the hues became. The closer we got to Kentucky, the more color there was.

I spent three days working as a judge at an international boat manufacturer’s show, climbing over displays and carpet rolls being set up prior to the opening. I was honored to be asked to judge, representing the international writers group I am a member of, but I had no idea how much physical labor would be involved. I know I walked about 15 miles dodging forklifts and strange display items being carried into the show.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4 (you know the day of the Great Debate), we started home and were no further than 10 miles north of Louisville when the forest lit up like an artist’s painting. Every shade of yellow, orange and red with backdrops of evergreen gave a wonderful display, best we have seen in years. A question came to mind; weather forecasters and AAA reports always start in the north and slowly work south. Why?

If you are planning a color tour this year, now is the time to go. But I suggest you head south. You will never see a better display than what’s out there this year!




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