Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tioga County Fall Colors

I went out this morning to check out the colors at the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

First I stopped down on Route 15 to pick up the Sunday papers and found some color that I wasn't expecting.

Into the blue gray skies.

Hot air balloons were to be a highlight of yesterday's 1890s Weekend celebration. Tethered rides were supposed to be available from the area of the park in downtown Mansfield, but it was pretty breezy all day so maybe they never got a chance to launch. Today there was no air movement, as you can tell from the flag in the lower left hand corner of the photo, and they were taking advantage of the total lack of any horizontal breeze as lifted off from the open area near the Tractor Supply store on Route 15 south of Mansfield. Where they were headed and where they would land I'll never know. They were still heading up, up and away as I turned to the west and the Canyon.

I became more and more disappointed as I headed west. It became obvious that my assumption of 85-90% color was totally in error. The amount of color on the hills decreased more and more as I continued west on Route 660 out of Wellsboro. By the time I got to Leonard Harris State Park and the east rim of the Grand Canyon, I could estimate only 20-25% of the trees sported colorful leaves. (Another 5% or so had lost whatever leaves they had. Perhaps these were ash trees infected by the ash borer?)

Looking west from Leonard Harris SP

Looking west from Leonard Harris SP

Looking South down the Canyon

Looking North up the Canyon

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Still, there had to be more color than this, so I went searching.

First I stopped over at The Muck. This is an Audubon Society recognized IBA (Important Birding Area) and there were several wood ducks and mallards on the water complimenting the numerous red-winged blackbirds, cedar waxwings and smaller sparrows taking advantage of the amble food supply of rose hips, reed seeds and more.

Hillsides at The Muck

Pocket of color at The Muck

Some color was visible here, but still only about 50% or so. Maybe there would be more over at Hills Creek State Park.

Color at Hills Creek SP

Color at Hills Creek SP

The second shot above is of the sugar maples in the parking lot. It's from these trees (among others) that our favorite Park Ranger, Audrey, collects sap to boil down to maple syrup.

Okay, this was a little better. Still not the 85-90% I thought I would find, but not bad. I could, possibly, find more color over at Ives Run/Hammond Lake, but it was time to head back to the Aerie.

Close to home

Closer to home

View from the Aerie's Deck

Those last views are what I've been seeing this week as I go down to the store an/or for the mail. Is it any wonder I thought there was more color out there than there turned out to be?

Oh well, I guess the current levels of color only mean that it'll get better before they leaves fall. Not a bad excuse to go out taking pictures.


Rev. Paul said...

Despite whatever disappointment you may feel, the trees are lovely.

ruthann said...

nice pictures rich! i love all the scenery whatever the color!!