The avian migration southward is in full flight as Vermont’s foliage season closes to the russet color of late changing oaks and the brightening of tamaracks.
Clusters of lingering, bright maples are still to be found in lower elevation valleys, especially in town and village centers. And hillsides with stands of oak are showing russet to burnt umber in the last stage of fall color.
Around 2,000 snow geese can be observed at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area on Route 17 near West Addison. As with the leaf season, the migration is winding down, but the annual spectacle of the distinctive geese remains impressive. Serious birders know that other northern species of interest can be observed in this area during the migration.
Best Bets: The tamarack season is emerging in swaths of lemon yellow across the hillsides of the Northeast Kingdom and beginning to appear in other areas of the state. The tamarack appears to be a species of evergreen during the growing season, but, in fact, is deciduous, making a late-season color change and dropping its needles as the snow begins to fly in November.
The lower reaches of the valleys west and east of the Green Mountain Range are still holding areas of past peak color. Routes 7 and 7A north from Bennington and Routes 30 and 22A are suggested. To the east in the Connecticut River Valley Route 5 north from Brattleboro retains areas of color.
Hillside stands of oaks are at full color along Route 2 and I-89 between Waterbury and Burlington. Oaks are also prime in clustered stands along Lake Champlain.
This is the final foliage report for 2006, a season that came closer to following the expected timeframe for the color change than the previous two years. During both of those seasons an unusual flow of tropical air from ocean storms delayed the onset and duration of the foliage change.
Until next year, you can find more gorgeous Fall scenery in Vermont.com’s photo gallery, thanks to local photographers… But truly, you’ve got to be here to fully enjoy the leaves. We hope you visit us for next year’s Foliage Season. Parts of this update are thanks to the USDA Forest Service and the Vermont Department of Tourism. You can find additional details by calling their fall foliage hotline at (802) 828-3239… and tell them Vermont.com sent you!