Autumn Colors Fall Early This Year

5:04 PM, Sep 18, 2005   |    comments
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Meteorologists are expecting a beautiful fall in West Michigan, but fall is turning colorful a little earlier than expected. If you spent any time outside recently, you may have noticed brightly colored leaves falling to the ground. The Eizenga family of Holland spent the weekend camping at PJ Hoffmaster State Park. They walked the trails and enjoyed the weather. “It's fun to see the fall colors come back," said Heather Eizenga. "Love the change of seasons in Michigan." This year, some leaves are changing colors a little bit early, according to the National Weather Service. "It's been largely dry over the western part of Lower Michigan," said Weather Service Meteorologist William Marino. "And the dry weather stresses the trees. The color won't be as bright. Typically the color's brighter if you get a fair amount of precipitation, which we're not getting. So, we'll have subdued color. And it will be like maybe a week or so early." So, families like the Eizenga's should enjoy the fall colors while they can, because the peak will come in mid-October instead of late October. Dale Eizenga has already noticed the changes. "Our yard, it looks more like fall," Eizenga said. "It's time to start raking leaves it feels like already. With the dry weather, everything's losing it's leaves faster, it seems." For other fall traditions, like picking apples, the outlook is delicious. “The fruits have got really good flavor this year because of all the sunshine," said Suanne Shoemaker of Dunneback Fruit Farm in Kent County. "I think there's more sugar in everything this year because of the warmth." That's partly because Dunneback Fruit Farm irrigates many of it's crops. But, Shoemaker does say the warm weather means the apples are ripening earlier. She says that gives people a chance to enjoy the fall weather on the farm. Shoemaker predicts you'll be able to find the most varieties of ripe apples the last weekend in September. While, the best time to see the colors will probably be mid-October. To find out where to find some of the best fall colors in Michigan, go to www.michigan.org.

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