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Not Your Imagination: Fall Colors Have Been Especially Good This Year

It's not your imagination: Fall colors have been spectacular in the Northwest this year. But if you want to catch a glimpse, you'd better hurry.

If you remember from grade school, leaves change color when the process of turning the sun’s rays into food winds down. There's no objective scale for measuring a region's autumnal brilliance. But Oregon State University forestry instructor Paul Ries says this year's colors are among the best.

"It all comes down to that magic word," he says. "Weather."

Ries says the same conditions that have made being outside so nice this month also make for an attractive palette on the region's deciduous trees.

“We've been very fortunate in October to have dry days and cool nights. And those are ideal conditions for vivid fall colors."

Ries says some of the best displays in the Northwest are in urban parks and college campuses. And he says the days of yellows, reds and oranges could be numbered.

He expects the first November rains could put an end to the show.

On the Web:

Oregon fall foliage website