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Fall foliage season nears 2020 peak in Baltimore County

NOTTINGHAM, MD—If you’ve been waiting to go out and take a peek at the fall foliage in Baltimore County, don’t wait much longer.

This week’s Fall Foliage Report from the Maryland Department of Natural resources indicates that the Baltimore area is “near peak,” as this season continues to bring on the best fall color Maryland has seen in years.

At Gunpowder Falls State Park, Ranger Angela Crenshaw says: “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, especially along the Gunpowder River at the Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park.”

Gunpowder State Park Hammerman Area 1
Gunpowder Falls State Park, Hammerman Area, photos by Angela Crenshaw
North Point State Park Black Marsh Wildlands 2020 Shannon Davis
North Point State Park, Black Marsh Wildlands, photo by Shannon Davis

Ranger Shannon Davis says: “The Black Marsh Wildlands in North Point State Park is a great birding spot and many species are migrating through. Today I saw a little blue heron, two bald eagles, and various sparrows and warblers. It certainly looks like fall here. We have the reds, oranges, and yellows of dogwood, sumacs, sweet gum, spicebush, and sassafras. Even the vines of Virginia creeper and poison ivy are turning beautiful colors. The oaks are just beginning to turn.”

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So what causes the leaves to start changing colors every year?

As summer fades into fall, the days start getting shorter and there is less sunlight. This is a signal for the leaf to prepare for winter and to stop making chlorophyll. Once this happens, the green color starts to fade and the reds, oranges, and yellows become visible.

This week’s full Fall Foliage Report can be found here.

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