Fall Foliage Report – September 16, 2021


Fall Foliage Report – September 16, 2021

“Autumn comes with regal ease and is content to arrive with slow grace. Although the first leaves have fallen to the rainy ground, most remain green and flutter in the stronger wind. And although I want this garland of red and gold, I have to be just as patient as she. “

– Angela Caroline Abraham, Descriptionari.com

Fall has not yet started in Maryland, and many trees across the state are still a bit shy when they best show off their fall before the season officially kicks off on September 22nd.

In West Maryland, however, trees are slowly starting to greet us with hints of bright colors. Traditionally, this is the region where the leaf color changes first. Foliage in Counties Garrett and Allegany begins to rotate in late September and peaks in mid-October.

Join us as we track the transition every week with reports from our experts in our state forests and parks. This year, for the first time, we’re welcoming all of Maryland’s outdoor enthusiasts to send in photos capturing the beauty of the fall season. Please use the registration form Send your entries directly to us. Your photo may be selected for a future edition of the Fall Foliage Report!

Garrett County, Maryland

Potomac – Garrett State Forest

Cranesville Swamp

Cranesville Swamp

Black Gum and Red Maple on Backbone Mountain

Black rubber and red maple
on Backbone Mountain

Black gum and red maple in the wetland along Lostland Run Road

Black rubber and red maple in
Wetland along the Lostland Run Road

Black chewing gum and red maple show the first strong reds and yellows of autumn, especially in lower areas. Scott Campbell – Potomac / Garrett State Forest

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park

Deep Creek Lake State Park

The red maples and black gums show us that autumn is coming soon. Small red splatters pop through; and black birch with its warm, golden yellow leaves not far. Ranger Roy Musselwhite – Deep Creek Lake State Park

Allegany County, Maryland

Dogwood tree


Black rubber tree

Black chewing gum

If you take a closer look at Allegany County’s forests, you’ll notice subtle changes, like the black rubber trees with several new colors that signal the first signs of fall and dogwoods that are budding bright red berries that make their own entry into the season initiate. A keen eye will be happy if you look closely! Daniel B. Hedderick – Project Forester, Forest Service

Frederick County, Maryland

Cunningham Falls State Park

Cunningham Falls State Park

Cunningham Falls State Park

At Cunningham Falls, apart from the cooler temperatures last week, we see some signs of autumn in the dogwood trees around the park. The sheen of the goldenrod and the delicacy of the dogwood greet us in the fall season. Melissa Carlson – Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Fort Frederick State Park

Picnic area in Fort Frederick State Park

Picnic area at Fort Frederick, September 16, 2021.
Check back every week, we’ll post an updated photo of this place
So you can see how the leaves change from week to week.

Fun fact

Fort Frederick State Park’s picnic area is one of the most unique destinations in Western Maryland. Not only is it surrounded by deciduous trees ready to show off their fall colors, but this particular picnic spot also provides a place for lunch right on Earth’s 78th meridian. Meridians are imaginary north-south lines on the earth’s surface that connect both geographic poles. The 78th meridian runs right through the center of the picnic table shown. This is a unique place to watch the seasons change and enjoy an autumn picnic with family and friends. Bob Study – Fort Frederick State Park Complex

Watch the sky

This year, the harvest moon takes place on Monday, September 20 – just two days before the autumn equinox. At the autumn equinox, the full moon rises around sunset for several nights in a row, which traditionally provided farmers with just enough extra light to finish their crops before the deadly autumn frost set in.

Usually the moon rises about an hour later each night, but around the time of the autumn equinox, the angle of the lunar orbit and the inclination of the earth coincide exactly, causing the moon to rise only about 20 to 30 minutes later each night for several Nights in a row!

– Peasant almanac

Harvest moon

Harvest moon – Photo by NASA

Infographic with facts about black birch

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