Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued fall foliage reports earlier in the season. The department's graphic listed Venango County's foliage as having the best color from Oct. 8 to 14.
I found that to be true.
Technically according to the calendar, we still have a lot more of the fall season left.
Winter isn't officially set to begin until Dec. 21. However, the trees in the area have decreed that the fall foliage season is over.
A hard frost on Oct. 17 put an end to the growing season here at the Applegate gardens and Monday, Nov. 2, brought a few inches of snow.
Needless to say, I felt that this year's fall display was one of the most colorful I have seen in awhile. It did seem like it was a little shorter this year than others.
This year it was about a week early and dropped its leaves within days of turning yellow. The other "late" maple is a red maple in my parents' yard. It also doesn't wear a scarlet hue until the end of October. This year it seemed to stay the course. It even had a few red leaves hanging on through Nov. 2's wintry blast.
The DCNR's webpage stated that the red maple is "the most abundant tree in Pennsylvania growing in a wide variety of habitats."
"Mixed oak forests cover about 54 percent of the commonwealth -- mostly in the south -- and include trees such as northern red oak, chestnut oak, shagbark hickory, red maple, and tulip poplar. Northern hardwoods cover about 32 percent of Pennsylvania, mostly in the high elevations of the north. Common trees include sugar maple, black cherry, aspen, birch, hemlock, and ash," the DCNR said.
One change I observed this fall was that the oaks appeared more colorful this year.
In my experience, the oaks are usually the last to hold on to their leaves until they are brown and tattered.
However, this year my lens captured vivid reds and yellows among the oaks.
Another observation this fall was an abundance of acorns.
They were raining down so bad during some of this season's windy days that I considered taking my hardhat from work home.
While the white oak and chestnut oak trees will produce acorns every season, there are other oak trees that take two seasons to ripen.
Those oaks include the black oak, red oak, pin oak and scarlet oak.
Meanwhile, the white oak in my parents' yard has covered the ground with acorns. Acorns that my goats are very aware of.
Henceforth, I have lost the war on acorns with the goats. I have only won two battles so far in the war.
One was with the help of my dad and his garden hose. He chased them from one side of the house. However, that didn't stop them from doing an end run and they tried to come in from the side yard. Unfortunately for them, the garden hose reached there too.
The other win was scored on Monday, Nov. 2, when the snow covered the acorns and the goats didn't feel like digging for food.
I imagine we will continue to take unscheduled detours into the acorn-infested area until the nuts are consumed.
An article by Marcus Schneck posted Sept. 10 on Pennlive.com, stated that oaks south of Interstate 80 might not produce as well this year due to a late frost this past spring. The oaks to the north had not flowered when the frost hit.
However, I won that contest easily. Over the past few weeks when the fall display was its most brilliant, it was nothing for me to take at least 200 photos a day. I think I probably took a photo of just about every tree in a 20-acre radius. I couldn't help myself. I just loved the changing colors and scenery.
Due to fall's fleeting nature, I try to capture every brilliant moment before the gray November days set in.
That's just the nature of things 'round here.