I recall autumn seasons when we were at full, peak color in early October, but it is always driven by the arrival of colder temperatures that precipitate a real, vibrant leaf color change. We have had a fairly warm late summer and early fall, so, while I'm not complaining about that, we only had one night when temperatures dropped into the mid-30s - not quite a hard frost - to help hasten the usual change of hues this year. Still, it's great to have the leaves be well underway now, as this truly is my favorite time of year in this region. I'll be sad when it's all done and the time change back to standard time brings the end of daylight after 5pm - it's a real adjustment and, by contrast, the start of my least favorite time of year as winter looms closer. I'll be glad when we round the corner into the new year and the daylight begins to return, day by day.
Until then, I'll be out enjoying Mother Nature's greatest display and gathering my favorite harvest-time ingredients for hearty autumn dishes to warm those chillier nights to come!