Although autumn is my favorite season, I wasn’t sure if that would be the case when I moved here, four years ago.
When I moved from Western New York to Missouri in the summer of 2012, one of the biggest changes for me was the weather. Moving from Buffalo, where there’s the chance of a day or two with a 90 degree temperature, I knew I’d have to adjust to the typical 90 degree days of a mid-Missouri summer. It was just my luck that I arrived during a drought in a summer that saw sixteen days of 100+ degrees (well above an average summer temperature near 87°F). It made me wonder what autumn would bring, and if it still would be my favorite season.
The thing I’ve always liked about autumn is the moderate temperatures. And, of course, the beautiful colors. It’s a wonderful sight when the maple trees turn orange and red. In New York. Missouri doesn’t have a lot of maples. (In fact, they’re considered an invasive species. The hardwood of oak has always been a valued “crop,” and maples are seen as crowding them out.) The autumn colors just aren’t as vibrant, here in Missouri. Hickory and sycamore become a pale yellow, and the oaks are more of a subdued, almost-brown, red. It’s a rare treat to see a vibrant red maple amid the normal subdued colors of a mid-Missouri autumn.
As for the weather, high temperatures in the sixties are the norm for mid-October. We’re still waiting for most of the leaves to change, since there have been very few nights below fifty degrees. With projected highs in the mid-sixties (and 78 this Friday), it will be another week or two before the oaks, hickories and walnuts change.
I’ve decided it’s all relative. Here in Missouri, autumn still offers a variety of (subdued) color over the other seasons, as well as moderate temperatures, albeit warmer than I’m used to. It’s still my favorite.
So far this season, the only change I’ve seen in foliage is in dogwoods and sycamores. Dogwood trees are pretty boring, but sycamores have a nice yellow to pale orange going on, so I’ll show you some photos of sycamores along the Moreau River, taken while I was kayaking, yesterday.
Not everyone was impressed by the colors