The fall leaves are one of the natural events everyone looks at. And this year's turn is happening a bit earlier than normal.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers a weekly report on fall conditions, as well as a number people can call to get the information. We're into the time when colors typically peak in northern Iowa and not far from when they peak in the central band of the state.
Southern Iowa, which the IDNR defines as going nearly all the way to I-80, traditionally peaks in the second through fourth weeks of October. But a quick look outside shows trees are well on their way to fall colors this year.
The 2012 drought explains most of the accelerated changes this season. The drought stressed trees. Many are shutting down production of chlorophyll (the component that keeps leaves green) early. That means the leaves' colors are coming through.
You can read this week's report below, get it from the IDNR website by clicking here, or you can get it by phone by calling (515) 233-4110.