Christian Howe’s annual fall-color report: From southern Cook County to Iron County, Michigan

As has become a tradition, Christian Howe gives a report on fall color and other parts of the wild world from southern Cook County north into Iron County, Michigan.

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Less than three weeks ago, this was the height of fall color in the area. Credit: Dale Bowman

Less than three weeks ago, this was the height of fall color in the area.

Dale Bowman

I just enjoy Christian Howe’s fall colors and general outdoors report—fall color, progress of the rut, status of ducks—each fall from southern Cook County to the Northwoods.

It’s become a tradition, this detailed account of color change, status of the rut and the ducks.

Here’s Howe’s report for this fall from their drive north:

Here is my Fall colors report, from Southern Cook County to Iron County, MI via I294-94, I43 to US 141. Southern Cook County to Lake County, IL - starting to see some subtle changes, mainly fading summer green. My locust trees have begun to lighten in the past few days, the neighbors maples are slowly changing red, Oaks lightening. Lake county to the Cheddar Curtain - starting to see a maples, few oaks and other hardwoods brighten, cottonwood nearing peak along with scrub brush. Cheddar Curtain to Whitefish Bay - A few bright spots, most trees in early stages of changing. Whitefish Bay to Sheboygan - oak, maple, birch are brightening in patches, other areas still green. Cottonwoods still green. Next weekend could be near or at peak colors especially near the Big Pond. Ferns are down, scrub and saplings are in full color. Sheboygan to Green Bay (Booo)- Everything is on the brink of breaking out in peak colors. Some vibrant oaks, maples and birch mixed in with the stragglers. With the stable weather for the next few days near peak colors should be this weekend. Green Bay to Lena - The big show is on in places, others past peak! Closer to Lena the colors started tapering off in spots Lena to Florence - fading fast. What color is left are a few bright birch, and Tamark’s (my favorite) starting to change. Florence to the Ottawa National Forest via US 141 to US 2 - Tamark’s near full color, most hardwoods have dropped their leaves and are done. A few spots along US 2 between Iron River and Watersmeet are just past peak, but made the drive worth it. The drought conditions this year took a toll on the colors. We ventured to the Porkies (Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness and were treated to a surprise show of fall colors around Lake of the Clouds. The neighbors report the rut is just getting going and we’ve seen first hand that it is with lots of movement pre-dawn and around sunset., Ducks are moving too. I see them come in and out of the backwaters of the River at my wife’s family cabin. Teal, about 10 wood duck so far. Oh, mallards too. Lots of mallards. . . . I hope to see you out there for spring coho, maybe late perch if that’s even a thing this season. Christian Howe

And I hope to see both.

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