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The color in the Killington region was bad this year. Muted with very few bright
patches. I'd give it a 2 out of 10. Last year was a 0, and the year before was
also not good. So that makes 3 years in a row with below average foliage. If I
was a tourist, I'd ask for a refund.

Here's a view northward along the spine of the Greens, showing that colors are
drab in a view that is typically fabulous in the "peak" weekend:
http://web.mit.edu/jlcrowle/www/Vermont%202006/Oct%206-9%202006/IMG_1417.jpg

Can you pick out your favorite mountain? Mansfield is to the right in the far
distance. It's hard to see in the photo. Camel's Hump is the obvious solo peak.
It's the most distinctive peak in Vermont no matter which direction you view it.
Also seen are Mt. Abraham and Breadloaf Mtn. Chittenden Reservoir is the body of
water in the near distance on the left.

Technogurtls takes studies the Coolidge Range as his plots out his next 10,000
foot ski day:
http://web.mit.edu/jlcrowle/www/Vermont%202006/Oct%206-9%202006/IMG_1409.jpg

Despite the overall bad color, there were still some bright spots hidden in the
forest:
http://web.mit.edu/jlcrowle/www/Vermont%202006/Oct%206-9%202006/IMG_1427.jpg

The nettles are starting to lose their sting, but wearing heavy long pants
through the nettle glades is still prudent:
http://web.mit.edu/jlcrowle/www/Vermont%202006/Oct%206-9%202006/IMG_1405.jpg
http://web.mit.edu/jlcrowle/www/Vermont%202006/Oct%206-9%202006/IMG_1401.jpg

Evan's photos showed nice color in the Mansfield region, so it was obviously
variable across the state. I think part of the reason for bad colors around
Killington is that the forest caterpillars deforested hugh swaths of maples in
June and July. Maybe the excess precipitation in May and June also had some
effect. Last year the reason was the lack of a frost. This year there were some
cool nights so that cannot be the reason.

I've noticed in the past few years that the high elevation birch trees have been
losing their leaves 2-3 weeks before the maples and beech trees. I know this
hasn't always been the case because I have photos from the early 1990's showing
that all species reached their peak simultaneously with fantastic color. I
wonder why this is happening.

Jim

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