11/27/04 — The West has no monopoly on color

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The West has no monopoly on color

Western North Carolina is, as you know, famous for its fall color. Usually the foliage is at its most vivid between the middle and the end of October.

But have you noticed? That color has moved east.

We always get some of it, once our weather has cooled. We don’t get to see it in distant layers of mountain ridges as they do in the West, but it’s pretty just the same.

This year, for some reason, it seems more brilliant than usual.

The oaks are not going abruptly from green to brown as they sometimes do, but there are in-between colors that linger for a week or so.

The red maples seem redder this year, and the yellow sweetgums, when you see them in the woods, are illuminated by fingers of sunshine that reach down through the branches. Some of the Bradford pears have gone maroon. There is chartreuse and orange and green in brush along the edges of the fields.

We have passed summer and all the fun it offers, but this still is a good time to be alive.

Even cold winter, which is coming soon, has its rewards — lighted fireplaces, leather jackets, Christmas, basketball, hot cocoa, flannel. If we’re lucky, we’ll see a couple of snowfalls that will rival autumn in their beauty. And the snow will melt quickly and thoroughly away without leaving us to slosh though the mush, as in western North Carolina!

Published in Editorials on November 27, 2004 10:01 PM