While forecasted weather this week may feel more like midsummer, autumn officially began on Friday, and as farmers around Highland County begin an early soybean harvest, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released its fall tree color report in anticipation of peak fall colors in the area at the end of the month.
Lee Walker, a resource conservationist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Highland County, said farmers began harvesting soybeans over the weekend, and the corn harvest is expected to begin soon.
“I’ve noticed a good bit of people out harvesting beans,” Walker told The Times-Gazette on Monday. “There’s probably one or two people shelling corn, but not very many. Most people got their beans in a little early, so they’re harvesting them now.”
According to Walker, corn is ready for harvest when its moisture content reaches 17 percent, and most of the corn crop in the county is reportedly in the mid-20s to 30 percent.
“As it dries down, there will be a few people who get in there to shell the corn,” Walker said.
Meanwhile, tree colors around the state seem to be changing somewhat early as well, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Fall Forester Casey Burdick.
“We are seeing a fair amount of early color, especially in town, on woodland edges and low-lying areas,” Burdick said in a press release. “This is caused by the very wet spring and early summer we experienced around the state. The trees showing the most color right now are the buckeyes, as well as some of the maples and walnuts. The Virginia creeper is also showing awesome red color.”
Burdick said tree colors in Southern Ohio are still expected to peak near the end of October.
Rocky Fork State Park is still green at this point, according to an Ohio State Parks spokesperson contacted Monday at the park office, but changes are expected in the next two weeks or so.
“We’re starting to dry up, but we’re not turning golden or red or anything yet,” the spokesperson told The Times-Gazette. “In about two weeks, we’ll probably start turning, and it’s worth the drive. You can look at the water at the lake and get the reflection of the trees.”
In the meantime, the spokesperson said plenty of fall campers are visiting the area while the weather stays warm.
The ODNR’s tree color report and map can be found by visiting www.fallcolor.ohiodnr.
For a list of fall activities in Ohio, visit www.ohio.org/fallidays.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.