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When autumn leaves don't fall...

When autumn leaves <i>don't</i> fall...
Photo by YouNews contributor: Birchbaybay
It's not something I can quantify with statistics, but is it me, or has this October been one of the best, if not *the* best ever for fall foliage?

It used to be going to Stevens Pass was the best place to see the leaves change color, but even on my drive in on I-5 from the Everett area into Seattle, normally highlighted by such exciting views as the new Shoreline parking garage and the McDonald's at Northgate, is now much more picturesque as the trees along the freeway are brilliant and striking, and you don't even have to get on a plane. Take that, Vermont!

I'm no botanist, but quick research on the Internet shows that leaves on deciduous trees get their summertime green color from chlorophyll, which is the substance that the leaves use to turn sunlight into energy. 

When the days get shorter and the nights get colder, the leaves die off, and the green chlorophyll goes away, leaving the reds, yellows and oranges in the base color of the leaves to come through. Around here, our pretty leaves season seems to always be cut short because we usually have a few windstorms roll through that blow away most of the leaves, and the cloudy skies keep overnight temperatures up.

But this October has been perfect conditions.  The past few weeks have seen many clear and cold nights to kill off the chlorophyll. And aside from the first few days when we had those two consecutive wind storms, we've hardly had any wind to blow the leaves off the trees.

The result -- well, look out your window. And the forecast through next week is for continued calm conditions so it's a great time to go fall leaves hunting.

And that's where you come in. I'm want you all involved two ways. One: Send me some photos of some great autumn-esque scenes. I'll post some of the best ones here in a future blog report. You can either e-mail them directly to me at scotts@komonews.com or post them on our YouNews page.

Second, where are the best places you know of to see autumn leaves? Use the commenting tools below to post your favorite spots.

For me, aside from the very scenic I-5 drive in from Everett, one place in year's past that is a bit New England-esque is Port Gamble over on the Kitsap Peninsula. (That's the town about 10 miles from Kingston that you pass on SR 104 off the Edmonds ferry.)   It's a really tiny town and it only takes about 40 seconds to pass through (and that's at 25 mph) but their street has a large tree canopy that are all in fall colors.

So if you're bumming around the Kitsap Peninsula or heading that way from Edmonds, be sure take a few minutes to slow down and enjoy the scenery. That's good advice for any spot now, because while this week the gorgeous leaves are bringing smiles to faces, next week they'll probably be clogging your storm drain :)