This is the best time of the year to check out our beautiful fall foliage. The peak in Oklahoma runs from Halloween through the first week of November. Because of the hot dry summer, several trees have already turned brown, but you should still be able to see a variety of reds, yellows and oranges at some our top spots.
First lets tackle why the leaves change color in the first place. Three reasons: leaf pigmentation, genetic response to dwindling sunlight and temperatures at night. The timing is linked to the increasing length of night and shorter exposure to sunlight. This occurs every autumn. Those reds, yellows, oranges and purples are always there, but something called chlorophyll only lets us see the green most of the year. But this time of year, the chlorophyll stops, the green goes away, and those vibrant fall colors emerge.
OK, enough of the science of leaves. How about the best places to view them:
1. Talimena National Scenic Byway-2 1/2 hours southeast of Tulsa. 54 miles. Oklahoma 1 from Talihina to Mena, Arkansas where it becomes Arkansas 88.
2. Kansas, OK to Tahlequah-U.S. 412 east out of Tulsa 62 miles to Kansas, OK and south on Oklahoma 10 into Tahlequah.
3. Oologah Lake to Oklahoma 88-12 miles north of Claremore on Oklahoma 88, or U.S. 169 north out of Tulsa through Oologah.
4. Robbers Cave State Park-2 hours south of Tulsa. 5 miles north of Wilburton on Oklahoma 2.
Enjoy! And if you get some good pics please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can show them on the air! Don't forget to include your location and name.