I agreed that there were awesome hues during the beginning of the forecast period, but I sensed things were dwindling fast.
Meanwhile in the Oct. 19 report, the northwestern region the district manager in Cornplanter State Forest said northwestern forests are beginning to fade.
"Oaks continue to display their brownish-red hues and hickories are also sporting bright golden leaves. Many other species (e.g. maples) have already displayed their best coloration and are shedding leaves. Routes to enjoy the autumn scenery continue to be Route 62 along the Allegheny River, US 6 in the Warren area, and Route 8 from southern Venango into Erie County," the manager wrote.
The fall foliage report issued Oct. 26 announced that colors were on the decline. "Although the statewide peak has passed, spectacular color still adorns Penn’s Woods. Northern oak forests have just begun to peak, offering late season sights in areas where the northern hardwoods are declining," the DCNR said.
"Oaks and hickories continue to provide the 'second half' of vibrant shades in northwestern Pennsylvania. The hillsides are dotted with rich bronze, copper, and rust colors," the manager said.
To me the tree didn’t seem quite as bright as other years and this week's brisk winds helped many of the leaves fly from the tree. Interestingly enough, a photo from Oct. 24, 2015, still showed a fairly green and full maple tree.
As I walked forward and looked back, every view was full of intensity even on the darker days. I said to myself, "I will take photos of all the trees." After reviewing my snapshots, I'm pretty sure I accomplished that goal. Some trees may have even been pictured twice. By Oct. 24, many of the trees in my wandering woods had bare branches while the forest floor was carpeted with colorful leaves.
In fact, in an Oct. 25, 2013, photo, the trees along the edge of the backyard were completely void of leaves. In comparison, this year there were still quite a few leaves on the trees. By mid-week the oak trees started to show their splendor with gold and burgundy leaves. However, near the end of the week even the oak trees began to lose leaves at a rapid pace. Traveling home from work, Bredinsburg Road was covered with leaves. Bare trees conjured up visions of the next season to come.
Both the Farmers' Almanac and Old Farmers' Almanac predicted a snowy winter season for the Northeast.
"The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts snow, seasonable cold, and all of winter’s delights! This winter’s forecast will surely excite snow bunnies and sweater lovers alike, promising a lot of cold and snow across North America!," said a post on www.almanac.com.
The post went on to explain that earth was approaching middle of Solar Cycle 25 which could mean colder than normal temperatures.
"The second week of January will be stormy, snowy, and wet for both the Pacific Coast and the Eastern States," it continued. The post added that "March’s extended forecast calls for wild swings in the thermometer, especially in the East."
Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast for the upcoming winter season differed from both of the almanacs' predictions.
"This year, El Niño is in place heading into winter for the first time in four years, driving the outlook for warmer-than-average temperatures for the northern tier of the continental United States ...," the Oct. 19 post said.
"Warmer-than-average temperatures are favored across the northern tier of the U.S. and much of the Far West," the administration posted.
In contrast to the almanacs' forecasts, NOAA predicted drier than normal conditions for the winter season.
"The greatest odds for drier-than-average conditions are forecast in portions of the northern Rockies and central Great Lakes region, especially for Michigan and northern Ohio and Indiana," NOAA posted.
While NOAA predicted a warmer and drier winter, statics showed that September was dry as well.
According to drought.gov, September 2023 was Venango County's 18th driest September in 129 years with a decrease of 1.64 inches less rain than normal.
The U.S. Drought Monitor graphic issued Oct. 26 still listed the county as abnormally dry for this time of year.
October offered up a little more rainfall, but it didn't seem to make a dent.
National Weather Service data recorded a total precipitation amount for Oct. 1-Oct. 25, as 2.78 inches which was slightly short of the average of 3 inches.
Lore had it that a heavy mast or acorn crop meant a bad winter.
While area oaks were discarding their leaves, they additionally were raining acorns down upon the region.
Is this winter going to be snowy and colder or warmer and drier? The almanacs said "yes" to colder and snowier, and NOAA said "No, this winter will be warmer and drier."