Mother Nature taking her time

Sunny fall weather makes Columbus Day the ideal time for observing the bright reds, yellows and oran

Sunny fall weather makes Columbus Day the ideal time for observing the bright reds, yellows and oranges of the foliage change. But leaf change experts say there are still more green leaves on the trees than is normal for mid-October.

“Our Schenectady leaf peeper noticed there is still a lot of green around,” said Eric Scheffel of the I Love NY foliage program.

Color change in Schenectady County is at 50 percent to 75 percent of peak “with a mix of brilliant yellow leaves along with quickly emerging oranges and reds.” The lingering green in the trees is similar to conditions of four or five years ago, Scheffel said.

“Peak foliage periods have been starting later in recent years,” Scheffel said. Warmer temperatures may have something to do with this.

Colors are abundant in many areas of the Capital Region and at peak or just beyond peak in the higher elevations of the Adirondacks and Catskills.

The I Love NY foliage program has leaf spotters across the state who update the colors and percent of change each week. These spotters noted that the past week’s high winds and heavy rain contributed to considerable leaf loss in some parts of region.

The Grafton area of Rensselaer County, for example, suffered from the winds and rain and peak foliage there has gone by.

The Thacher Park area of Albany County is nearing peak color this weekend, with bright yellow leaves with touches of red.

“Foliage spotters in the Saratoga Springs area of Saratoga County project near-peak color for the weekend with 75 percent transition and average-to-bright red, orange and yellow leaves,” according to the weekly I Love NY foliage report (

Scheffel said the Lake George area of Warren County is also reaching peak foliage.

Clear, sunny weather is predicted today, with some clouds coming in for Columbus Day on Monday, but no rain.

The fall’s first widespread frost was expected overnight. A freeze warning was issued overnight until 9 a.m. today in much of the Capital Region including the Lake George-Saratoga area, Mohawk Valley, western Schenectady County and Western Albany County, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.

George Maglaras, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said this is late for the first widespread frost in the North Country.

“We haven’t declared the growing season over,” Maglaras said Friday. He said if the predicted frost becomes a reality, then the growing season will officially be over.

Daytime temperatures were expected to be in the low to mid-60s today and around 60 on Monday with the low Monday in the lower 40s.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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