Fall colors haven’t reached their peak yet in much of Southcentral Alaska, but their annual transition is being challenged this year on two fronts. Last winter and much of the early spring and summer were very dry and many trees became stressed. August rains helped, but many of the usual bright yellows are muted with a dull brown cast this season. Then more wind and rain arrived—wave after wave—and many leaves have already detached and collected on the ground.
Not to be disheartened, local mountain ash are laden with a bumper crop of brilliant red or orange berries, which I’m sure will draw many bohemian waxwings in the coming months.