How The Drought Could Affect The Autumn Colors In North Dakota
Most of the kids go back to school next week (some schools started yesterday in Bismarck), and it's that time of year when we transition from summer to fall. I for one LOVE autumn, and it is by far my favorite season. Cool, crisp mornings, football, fall fishing, hunting and of course the beautiful fall colors.
Some of my favorite fall foliage watching places in the state include:
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, anywhere along the Missouri River, but especially south of Bismarck, Turtle River State Park up by Grand Forks, the Sheyenne River, especially the area near the city of Valley City, the Turtle Mountains north of Bottineau and Lake Sakakawea State Park, just to name a few.
I especially love the red colors you get from maple trees and burning bushes.
I have a small maple tree in my yard, but the drought has kept the leaves from turning colors the last two autumns. I tried planting burning bushes in my yard too. Their leaves turn a brilliant bright red in the fall, but a creature known as Spider Mites took care of them quickly before I realized what I was dealing with.
Getting back to the fall colors and our current drought.
According to WDAY meteorologist John Wheeler, droughts tend to do a couple things with the colors of the foliage. It tends to make them less brilliant and turn quicker. In an article in the Grand Forks Herald, Wheeler did say trees and shrubs that are around water such as lakes and rivers will still produce nice colors. So, there's still hope for some decent fall colors. If we get all the rain they are promising this weekend, it certainly won't hurt either.
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