Who knew that as we were pretty much suffering through the first part of winter, that it was actually setting us up to potentially have an amazing fall foliage season?! I felt like the last couple years were only sort of....okay. Nothing particularly exciting. Everything kind of went from green to greenish yellow, straight to brown. With very little of nature's fanfare in between.

But I was checking out an article at NewEngland.com and it was laying out how our bizarre winter weather might turn into a cornucopia of colors. Back at the very end of 2017 into 2018, we had a ton of snow, and the temperatures were so low that the thermometers wanted to come inside to warm up. Then, toward the end of February, we had that quick, intense thaw. Temps in some parts of New England reached 80 degrees! Around here, if I remember correctly, we topped out in the high 60's.

That thaw almost caused the trees to bud out early, which would've been a disaster. Being only February, temps were definitely going to dip back below freezing, wehich kept the trees from budding early. And also since we had a pretty dry spring, gorund fungus didn't get a chance to take hold as hard as it usually does. And despite seeming like a very dry summer, thunderstorms have kept the ground pretty moist in general.

Long range forecasts have the warmer temps sticking around a bit longer due to it being an El Nino year. this means the season will likely begin a bit later. But, it will come with the prize of abundant color. So this could be one the better years we've had in a while. The article I read factored in all these things and came to this conclusion:

Putting this all together, we are fairly confident that the leaves will be bright, bold, and healthy when they begin to change in most areas, and a colorful, vibrant show should be on tap across most of New England this year. We also believe that the leaves, especially up north, will turn a bit later than historical averages.

Also, check out this foliage map, and where some of the key spots and times will be. Every little bit helps!

So let's cross our fingers and hop that there are some amazing Sunday drives in our future in the coming weeks. A nice, bright fall display might make us feel like we got a prize after the long, cold winter followed by the long, hot summer. I, for one, would think that was a dandy payoff.