Ohio is approaching peak fall color.
In addition, the fall acorn crop is up dramatically — a harbinger of a harsh winter, according to folklore and the Farmers’ Almanac.
Peak fall color is rapidly approaching, says Casey Burdick of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry.
“The northern two-thirds of the state are seeing near-peak to peak conditions, while southern Ohio is starting to see some good fall color,” she said.
Near peak is defined as 30 to 60 percent color. Peak is defined with as much as 85 percent color showing.
You can access the state’s Fall Color website at http://fallcolor.ohiodnr.com.
The fall acorn crop across Ohio is nearly equal to 2010, a banner year for acorns with the biggest acorn crop in the past eight years, the Ohio Division of Wildlife reported.
The number of white oaks and red oaks producing acorns increased dramatically from 2011, the agency said.
The white oak acorn production climbed by 36 percent from 2011; red oak production grew by 9 percent, the state says.
The numbers are based on a state survey of 38 state wildlife areas. A total of 32 reported an increase in white oak acorn production and 27 showed an increase in red oak acorn production.
Ohio’s fall acorn crop is an important food source for 90 forest wildlife species. Acorn abundance can affect hunters’ plans.
Hunters are likely to find white-tailed deer, turkey and squirrels in areas where acorns are abundant.
In areas with poor acorn production, the deer, turkey and squirrels are more likely to be found in agricultural areas.
Wildlife generally prefer white oak acorns over red oak acorns, which can be bitter.
Acorn production is cyclical, with some trees producing acorns every year while others rarely produce.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.