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Peak Indiana fall colors on the horizon

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-02 16:53:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Nature’s transition from deep green to a myriad of colors is coming into focus.

As year’s past have proven, you should prepare for a show.

Donna Riner, a naturalist at Eagle Creek Park, is tracking this year’s big event.

“There is a general schedule. I know the Cottonwoods are already losing their leaves. They turn brown and kind of drop. Sycamores are starting now. They have those giant brown leaves.”

Leaf watching can be a very relaxing experience.

“Sometimes when you're walking down a trail and your surrounded by the golden yellow, orange and reds. Taking a big deep breath is kind of like a reset for a lot of people,” Donna points out.

Nature’s colorful reset is triggered by chlorophyll breaking down in the leaves allowing other colors to shine through.

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The change isn’t just due to chemistry. Temperatures and moisture also play a role as well.

Peak color across the state usually arrives mid to late October.

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Once the color transition is complete, let all your senses soak it in.

Donna has a fun way to enjoy the moment. “I really recommend, especially for the little ones. I like to do this thing called deer ears. You take your hands, you cup them and put them behind your ears and suddenly everything is way louder.”

The show here at Eagle Creek often includes more than you imagined.

“As the leaves drop, we are going to have greater visibility higher up in the tree canopy. That will reveal perhaps our eagles perched up there. Along with hawks and owls, we regularly have red shouldered hawks here in the woods,” according to Donna.

Your focus will likely be taken away from the leaves at times.

If you’re looking for fabulous places to see fall colors, Clifty Falls State Park, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Turkey Run and Brown County State Park are just a few of your options.

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