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Autumn's palette

Look hard enough and you'll find the color

Look hard enough and you'll find the color

October 23, 2005|By JULIE. E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Autumns colors have been arriving slowly.

Why there were still lots of green leaves this past week is a bit of a mystery.

Bob Webster, Western Regional Forester for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, says it could be the combination of warmer temperatures that haven't differed much between night and day; and the drought in September followed by one extended rainfall in October.

The rain came just as a natural barrier would have formed at the base of leaf stems; a barrier that stops production of the chlorophyll that produces the green color in leaves. That green masks the natural, more vibrant colors - the yellows, oranges and reds. For some reason, the barrier didn't form in many leaves.

"I've never seen the leaves be this green this late in the season. It's extremely unusual," Webster says. Colder temperatures expected this weekend could help drop the leaves, which need to come off before ice arrives, he says.

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While green leaves still dominated the landscape in the Tri-State area for the past two weeks, autumn vistas could be found.

Enjoy the color. Soon enough, the predominant color of the landscape could be wintry white.

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