CAPE GIRARDEAU – Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Community Forester Jennifer Behnken says firework-like displays of fall colors can now be seen along the highways and field edges, highlighted by “crackling shades of cherry, tangerine, and lemon.”
“The days of sipping apple cider bring with it cider hues in eastern hophornbeam, sycamore, wild plum, and American beech,” says Behnken. “Decorative arrangements of squash harmonize with the colors of nature’s redbuds, elms, and Kentucky coffee trees. Pumpkin patches mirror the oranges of sugar maples and persimmon trees.”
She says the last of the red peppers in local gardens resemble the vibrant reds of sumacs, sassafras, and black gums, along with dogwoods starting to “show off” with mauve and magenta colors.
“Asters are now making their final stand of majestic lavender and purple shades, feeding late-season pollinators on their final migrations,” says Behnken.
Behnken suggests these locations for exploring fall color views: St. Francois Mountains, Mississippi River Hills, The Arcadia Valley (Ironton), Ste. Genevieve/Farmington, and along Highways 34, 72, 61, 51, 60, 67, 25 and I-55
She also suggested that sightseers might also take a detour at one of these areas: Castor River Conservation Area, Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area, Hickory Canyon Natural Area, Pickle Springs Conservation Area, St. Francois State Park, St. Joe State Park, Knob Lick Tower, or the Millstream Gardens Conservation Area.
“Regardless of whatever activity takes you to the great outdoors, take time to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and reap the benefits of being in nature wherever fall color views can be seen,” Behnken added.
Fall color updates for areas across the state of Missouri can be found online at mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/fall-color.