Welcome to the Fall Foliage Report for November 5, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Although recent wind and rain have sent much of Maryland past peak foliage, the southern part of the state is looking very colorful.

Ranger Angela Crenshaw, Gunpowder Falls State Park says: “Above us only sky. Fall is the perfect time to fall in love with Gunpowder Falls.”

Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources / Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Ranger Felicia Graves reports: “Things are still beautiful here in Patapsco Valley State Park. Despite the storms we experienced last week and high winds, there are still great opportunities to experience the bright hues of fall on the leaves. This week I decided to check out a few trails.”

Ranger Shannon Davis, North Point State Park, says: “Come for the fall colors, stay for a picnic on the bay! At North Point State Park, sassafras, sweetgum, dogwood, black tupelo, and maple are in full color. Visitors can wander the trails or sit on the beach to enjoy the view.”

Gunpowder Falls State Park, photos by Angela Crenshaw

Ranger Shawna Staup, Elk Neck State Park, says: “Elk Neck in Cecil County is past peak fall foliage time. Thanks to some high winds over the weekend, most of the trees that had color last week have lost their leaves. There are some lingering trees still in peak but the remaining trees are turning slightly yellow or directly to brown.

Patapsco Valley State Park Trails, River Road Trail (2 images on left) and Ridge Trail (2 images on right), photos by Felecia Graves

Ranger Diana Marsteller, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA), reports: “We are past peak foliage here at Fair Hill NRMA in Kent County. After the weekend rain and high winds, many of our trees have lost their leaves, but some are still holding on. Beautiful shades of russet and gold still line our Big Elk Creek. We can now see our forest floor, which was visible only by trail a few weeks ago.”

Brian Stupak, Forest Service project manager, says: “Southern Maryland continues to transition to fall colors. Sweetgums and poplars have turned into beautiful reds and yellows. Oaks are still at the early stages of transition, with green canopies dotted with flecks of orange and red. Some trees have lost most or all of their leaves due to recent rains and heavy winds. “

Smallwood State Park, photos by Peter Conrad Leongini

Ranger Peter Conrad Leongini  Smallwood State Park, tells us: “Consistently cooler nights have propelled the color transformation with an abundance of eye-catching golden yellows and burnt oranges dominating the landscape.”

Dana Paterra, park manager, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, says: “We just don’t have a lot of colors right now on the mid-lower Shore. The sweet gum, sassafras, maple, and poison ivy continue to dominate the fall foliage scene at Harriet Tubman and at Janes Island. The oaks are just starting to turn. I hope that the wind doesn’t blow the leaves off before we have an opportunity to enjoy them!”

Mark Herring, Janes Island State Park, offers: “I have an idea for the fall foliage report that is a bit non-traditional:  Counting the marsh grass as fall foliage. While there are very few deciduous trees at Janes Island State Park, a sure sign of the changing seasons is the dying of the salt-marsh grass.” 

Bob Study, Park Service Supervisor, Fort Frederick State Park, reports: “Here are the results of the remnants of hurricane Zeta which passed through Fort Frederick and ended what was a brilliant fall foliage display.”

Mr. Besley’s Forest

“Mr. Besley’s Forest,” a documentary about Maryland’s first state forester and the huge impact he had during his 36-year career (1906-1942), will make its broadcast premiere on Maryland Public Television on Sat., Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. Tune in to discover why Maryland remains forever indebted to this remarkable man.

“We seldom think of November in terms of beauty
or any other especially satisfying tribute.

November is simply that interval between colorful October and dark December.
Then, nearly every year, come a few November days of clear, crisp weather
that makes one wonder why November seldom gets its due.
There is the November sky, clean of summer dust,
blown clear this day of the urban smog that so often hazes autumn.
There is the touch of November in the air,
chill enough to have a slight tang, like properly aged cider.
Not air that caresses, nor yet air that nips.
Air that makes one breathe deeply
and think of spring water and walk briskly.”

– Hal Borland

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