Where to go, what to see, what to do

Most of September felt more like July. What does this year's weather bode for the fall foliage?

First off, the changing of the leaves so far hasn’t exactly been on the fast track.

“Several days of unseasonably warm weather seem to have slowed down the color progression and may be causing some leaves to drop,” according to the latest 2017 Fall Foliage Report for New York State.

The annual brigade of volunteer leaf peepers are out and about all across the state, reporting back so I Love NY can make a foliage map and keep it updated. Fall foliage reports come out every Wednesday.

Looking at predictions for this weekend, if you’re in and around Ontario County you’d do best to take a road trip if you want to see peak or near-peak performance. Motor on over to the Catskills or up to the Adirondacks. If you just need a fix of some pockets of gold, check out the northern stretch between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Areas of Seneca and Cortland counties should sport a bit of brilliance. Or head south of Corning along the New York-Pennsylvania border.

Or sit tight.

In the greater Rochester area, “look for 30 percent color change with mostly green leaves beginning to give way to yellow and yellow-green leaves of average brilliance, along with some red, dark red and russet leaves,” say the I Love NY folks.

Overall, trees, shrubs and undercover plants are looking rather “fallish” and, yes, leaves are falling. Heading into the Bristol Hills should boost your spirits. On Bristol Mountain, leaves are changing more rapidly than at lakeshore elevations.

Speaking of Bristol Mountain, there’s plenty to do and see in the Finger Lakes in the fall. It’s prime time in the region with wineries, agri-tourism attractions and farm markets abuzz.

A sampling:

Bristol Mountain: Take the chairlift for views of the surrounding Bristol Hills' changing color. Skyrides take place on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. through Columbus Day, on Oct. 9. Bristol Mountain hosts its annual Fall Festival on Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with music, games and food in celebration of fall. Skyrides run throughout the festival. Address: 5662 Route 64, South Bristol. Details: www.bristolmountain.com

Lazy Acre Alpacas: Meet a herd of friendly, cuddly alpacas at the annual Lazy Acres Alpacas Open House, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8. Activities include guided farm tours, a straw maze for kids, spinning and felting demonstrations, an antique tractor display, pumpkin sales and special sales of warm alpaca clothing. Address; 8830 Baker Road, Bloomfield. Details: www.lazyacrealpacas.com or 585-455-1203.

Cumming Nature Center: Leaf peeping hikes are set for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Oct. 7 and 14. Cumming, part of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, also offers Weekend Wild Walks on selected Saturdays throughout the year to explore the center's streams, forests and trails. Address: 6472 Gulick Road, Naples. Details: www.rmsc.org/cumming-nature-center.

Wickham's Pick'n Patch: The farm is open daily for a traditional family fall outing through October. Events involve pumpkins, a corn maze, train rides, a fun house, hayrides, barnyard animals, and more. Address: 2206 Routes 5 and 20, Stanley. Details: www.picknpatch.com.

Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm: Trail Works will lead a fall foliage hike at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Crowfield Farms in Newark. The hike is open to all ages. It will travel 2 miles over rolling drumlins to view various trees and fall colors. The farm includes one of 30 Wegmans Passport trails in Wayne County. Address: 2480 Arcadia Zurich Norris Road, Newark. Details: 315-573-8170 or email videomark@gmail.com.

Medina Railroad Museum: The museum will host specialtyrides in October to showcase fall foliage. Address: 530 West Ave., Medina. Details: medinarailroad.com

To find more autumn opportunities, check Visit Finger Lakes at http://bit.ly/2yyuxKX.

 

Why do leaves change colors?

Leaves need sunlight, air, water, and chlorophyll to make food (sugar) for the tree.

Chlorophyll is the green dominant pigment in leaves during the spring/summer. The green pigment hides the other colors in the leaf.

Leaves get less light each day in the fall and stop making food to prepare for the winter. The chlorophyll (green color) fades and other colors (mainly red/yellow/orange/tan) in the leaves begin to show. The stems of the leaves will weaken (without food) and the leaves fall from the trees.

SOURCE: The Preschool Toolbox, https://thepreschooltoolboxblog.com