See the Colors of Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains
By the Reynolds Mansion, Top Ranked Asheville B&B
“When should I come to see the peak colors?” This question causes the telephones of many B&Bs in Asheville, NC to ring off the hook as the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler. Naturally, what they are talking about is the lovely fall foliage that is so popular in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These callers are told that peak doesn’t occur on a certain day, and even varies greatly within a geographical region. The right way to see brilliant fall foliage is to stay in the mountains for several days during the “typical” season, and spend that time driving throughout the area, exploring differing terrain. It’d be nice if the date may be pinned down exactly, but sadly, many things affect when the peak actually happens. To grasp the brilliant colors of fall, it is helpful first to gain a knowledge of what causes these brilliant colors. Trees and other foliage perform a chemical process called photosynthesis.
This process, very simply, is taking water and carbon-dioxide, and turning them into oxygen and sugar. Chlorophyll is the substance that causes this process to happen. In the spring and summer, when the days are long and warm, chlorophyll, which is green in color, is terribly abundant in the leaves. But when the days become shorter the trees begin shutting down for the winter. Photosynthesis stops, chlorophyll vanishes, and the trees enter into a season of rest.
As the chlorophyll vanishes, the yellows and oranges, which have been present in the leaves all along, become apparent. The reds and the purples that may be seen in some trees is made in the autumn from the glucose that is encircled in the leaves, as daylight and cooler nights turn this into a bright red color. The differing species produce a kaleidoscope of colors. Of course, everyone recognizes the brilliant maples, which can sometimes be any color from scarlet to orange-red to yellow, dependent on the exact species.
The Sourwoods and Black Tupelos develop a deep crimson. Beech trees produce a light tan, while Aspens and Poplars show off a brilliant yellow. Hickories will turn into a golden bronze, and the oaks can be red, brown or russet. Many factors have an impact on the timing of the peak colors. It has been discussed how differing species produce different colors, but timing varies with species also.
Elevation also plays a significant role in timing. The higher up, the earlier the change. Also affecting the timing of top are the direction of the slope, the quantity of rain leading up to the fall, and the temperature. The most spectacular colors develop when there is a series of warm bright days followed by cool and crisp, though not freezing, nights. So with all this doubt of when top really is, how do you go about partaking of the copious display of fall foliage colors? The simplest way is to visit the field of interest for a few days during what is generally the peak season, and come stay at a cozy B&B in Asheville to scout out the best vantage points.
During those several days, passing time in the car covering masses of terrain will supply the best reward, as it provides opportunity to see many various species, at many various elevation levels, and on many different-facing slopes.
Here at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC, we offer a luxurious and cozy home base while you enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and changing Fall colors. The best times to book your Asheville B&B stay are October and November for the most spectacular foliage viewing.