DNR Fall Foliage Report September 22, 2022

“It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue, you could drown in it.”

– Diana Gabaldon

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Cooler temps bring crisp mornings and the hope of finding signs of fall in the treetops. Keep checking back each Thursday for the latest information.

Join us as we follow the transition each week with reports from the experts at our state forests and parks. We welcome all of Maryland’s outdoor enthusiasts to send in photos capturing the beauty of the fall season. Please use the submission form to send your entries directly to us. Your photo might be selected to appear in a future edition of the Fall Foliage Report!

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Western Maryland

The sugar maples in the lower elevations of the Wallman area of Potomac State forest are already displaying vibrant yellow leaves, while the red maples are casting a ruby glow, outlining a wetland area on Snaggy Mountain in Garrett State Forest. Black gums in the higher elevations of Piney Mountain in the Garrett State Forest are displaying a range of autumnal hues, from bold scarlets to warm oranges and yellows.

– Forest Manager Scott Campbell, Potomac-Garrett State Forest
– Forest Manager Scott Campbell, Potomac-Garrett State Forest

Northern/Central Maryland

We are still seeing lots of green in Patapsco Valley State Park, which is normal for this time of year. Many of our park visitors are enjoying the last gifts of summer – warmer waterways, shady trails, and abundant scenery.

– Park Ranger Alyssa Myers, Patapsco Valley State Park

Southern Maryland

Summer and fall are comingling in southern Maryland, with minimal overall leaf color change. The black gums and yellow poplars are beginning to reveal their fall colors, mixing in with their forest neighbors still holding on to their summer blooms.

– Tree Planting Specialist Cristina Val Perez – Forest Service, Southern Maryland
– Tree Planting Specialist Cristina Val Perez – Forest Service, Southern Maryland

Fall Recreation Spotlight

Monarchs and Milkweed at Merkle, Merkle Wildlife Center, Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary to celebrate the fall migration of the monarch butterfly. In Maryland, monarchs begin to migrate south in early fall (September and October), many of them flying all the way to central Mexico where they overwinter in a single mountain forest. Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1,900-acre natural resource management area in Prince George’s County.
Kids dressed up and having fun at the event

Watch the sky

The September equinox occurs on Thursday, September 22 at 9:04 p.m. EDT. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

NASA Night Sky Network
NASA Night Sky Network

The “Summer Triangle” asterism of Vega, Altair, and Deneb is still visible in the September sky. Also, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth since 1963 on September 26, so sky watchers will have a chance to see it in its full glory—as well as four of its largest moons.

Source: Farmers’ Almanac, Monthly Night Sky Guides for Stargazers – Farmers’ Almanac – Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life. (farmersalmanac.com)

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