Peak Color in Otter Creek Valley
The middle of November has always found the most intense color here in Otter Creek Valley. This season, a record drought has delayed the event, and muted the yellows and oranges, and nearby wildfires have cast a pall across all of these Mountains. A blanket of smoke has robbed the senses of the usual appreciation of this most beautiful time of year. But nature is fickled, and can surprise even the most disheartened observer.
After sunrise this morning, sub-freezing temperatures and a favorable northerly breeze swept all of the smoke and irritating odors completely away, at least for a little while, and allowed the vibrant hues to return.
Smoke was visible on the southwest horizon, but kept its distance for awhile.
As happens most days since the fires started, the winds shift, and the smoke returns, and at sunset, a haze once again cloaked the ridges. I took advantage of the dimming sun and went further up the valley in search of the illusive “peak” of color, and there it was, much as I remembered it.
The yellows weren’t bright like in years past, and the vermilion Maples were more maroon this year, but the overall effect was still breathtaking.
Looking to the west, the smoke was thicker, but the way it diffused the light created this ethereal scene around Roan Horsetop Mountain.
Take a couple of minutes to watch this video so you can get the full dimensional view of the Mountains and trees.