It's fall! Hints of color

HINESBURG Flares of color are beginning to emerge in typical fashion across higher elevations and in the low-lying areas across Vermont. Some observers are already reporting early color in the higher elevations near Hinesburg, as well as in eastern Chittenden Countys heights. A palpable sense of the fall season is evident along the hillsides throughout Vermont. Even the maples along the Vermont State House lawn are displaying a variety of early fall colors. Vermont forestry experts agree with the prediction that a beautiful foliage season is on the way. With the current forecast calling for sunny skies and cool nights and the combination of adequate soil moisture and healthy green leaves, this foliage season is shaping up to be one of the best in several years, said Bennington County forester Nate Fice. We are in the very early stages of foliage at this point, and small bits of color can be seen in isolated spots. Best Bets: Forester Raymond Toolan says the first indicator of actual foliage season will be seen in the higher elevations in the northerly most parts of the state. Keep an eye on Burke Mountain, Jay Peak, Mount Mansfield and Belvidere Mountain for some of the first actual color of the season. The foliage is blossoming in the northern reaches of the Northeast Kingdom. Vermont Route 114 from Island Pond through Norton and up along the border to Canaan offers some great early season opportunities for color. Look for low-lying hardwood swamps where cold night air settles, producing brilliant red flares of color. Route 12 between Morrisville and Montpelier is showing some small bursts of color, and some color is emerging on Route 15 between Jericho and Cambridge. A few spots of color can be seen along Interstate 89 as well. In southern Vermont, early fall colors can be found around wetlands and bodies of water at higher elevations. Small patches of yellow, orange, and red fall foliage are beginning to show up in the higher elevations of the Green Mountains and Taconic Mountains. Pockets of color can be found in the low-lying areas along Route 4 west of Rutland and along Route 7 south of Wallingford. In general, higher elevations will offer the most panoramic views of emerging color across the valleys, and many swamp or marsh areas will offer some of the most vivid and varied early season change.

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