Chasing color

Here in the mountains of North Carolina once the fall foliage season begins there are many chances to see the annual show. Living in a place of four seasons, there is always some excitement as the next season begins. Within 50 miles of Asheville there is a range of 5000 feet in elevation, so as autumn progresses the colors move from the highest to lowest elevations, seeping slowly down like nature’s brilliant watercolors.
I began my chase for fall in earnest this weekend. Emerging from the swirling clouds and fog of a high elevation ridge, these trees were among the first to announce the change of season. The reds are still a bit subdued, but the yellows seem to glow with color. After a day in the mountains, it seemed almost magical to return from this high altitude autumn to a decidedly summer season in my yard.
At least for a while my car will be a time machine, where I can journey from summer to fall and back again just by driving up or down the nearest slope. There will be peak color on some peak until well into November. Thanks to the magic of mountains I will be traveling in time and space, peeking at the colors.