Countdown to fall temperatures and leaf changes
The fall equinox is on September 22 this year, but many are already counting down to autumn and all its changes and activities.
One change is the temperature. A recent outlook from Climate Prediction Center shows that temperatures will stay above normal for a little longer. Good news for those of you who still have last minute summer plans.
By September 22, normal daytime high temperatures fall (pun alert) from the mid to lower 70s.
As we wait for autumn temperatures, we'll also have to wait a little while longer for leaves to change colors.
This map from the Smoky Mountains predicts when each part of the country will see changes in leaf coloration.
Leaves stop producing chlorophyll gradually as we head into the fall. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color during summer, so without it, we notice the beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows in our tree canopies.
By the end of September, we'll notice some patchy color.
By mid-October (a little more than a month from writing this), we'll be closer to the peak color change.
Even though the trees will hold their green leaves a little while longer, some fall changes are already noticeable across Michiana.
St. Joseph County Parks published a few photos on their Facebook page showing some recent changes in plants at Spicer Lake Nature Preserve.
Here's the red maple. The leaves look gorgeous on it!
There's also white baneberry. This plant typically has a green stem through the center in the summer. As temperatures cool, the stalk begins to turn red, which you can see in this photo.
Finally, they shared a photo of buttonbush. This plant is one that typically blooms a bit later in the season. Because of that, it's a perfect early fall snack for pollinators like bees and butterflies before their mid-September migration.