Leaf Watching in North Georgia
When the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, it’s a signal that the forests will soon be ablaze with the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn’s glory. If you’ve never witnessed this spectacle, perhaps this can be your year. Head for the North Georgia Mountains!
Did you ever wonder why leaves change colors? It is nature’s little phenomenon called photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in leaves during the growing season. It uses energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, and water from the tree roots to make food for the tree. In essence, leaves are nature’s “food factory.”
As winter approaches, photosynthesis slows down and the green chlorophyll fades away. We now can see the yellow and orange pigments that were there in the leaves all the time. These brilliant colors are evident in certain hardwood species like hickories, birches, cottonwoods and poplars. The red and purple hues of dogwoods and maples are actually created in the fall through a different process. Whatever the process, however, it all combines to make a wonderful colorful display for us to enjoy.
Environmental factors can diminish or enhance fall leaf color and the timing of “peak” color. For instance, if it stays hot too late in the season, the chlorophyll production won’t slow down and fall colors will be decreased. An early frost can cause leaves to shrivel and drop before their colors are fully developed. Long periods of rainy/cloudy weather can decrease colors. Conversely, drought during the growing season can cause leaves to fall early. Optimum conditions for fall color are cool temperatures, mild late-season drought and lots of sunny days.
October is considered to be the best time for “Leaf Peepers,” but I’ve seen glorious displays in early November as well. Blue Ridge is set in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest and is the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Make your reservations today with Rainbow Cabins to reserve the perfect cabin for your fall getaway. We invite you to come and experience all we have to offer. And while here, be sure to drive out Aska Road and Highway 60 east toward Suches for truly spectacular leaf viewing.