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Falling for Fall

There are many things to love about the fall season. The sounds and smell of dried leaves on the forest floor, cooler nights and warm days, the changing color of Iowa’s trees, and the southward migration of many birds and insects.

Shorter days and cooler nighttime temperatures trigger many of these changes. Tree leaves start to change colors when the green chlorophyll breaks down inside the leaf, the yellow, orange, and red colors become visible. The richness of red and purple colors depends on the weather conditions and the amount of sugar left in the leaf.

There are some fantastic areas to view fall colors in Polk County. Yellow Banks Park offers some wonderful views from the bluffs overlooking the Des Moines River Valley. Take a stroll through the oak hickory woodland at Thomas Mitchell Park that is rich with yellows, oranges, browns, and reds. Jester Park is also another great place to see a sampling of fall colors.

It’s difficult to predict when fall colors will peak. Typically, …

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