It rained today, mostly a drizzle which left everything damp and grey. The interstate traffic maps were a horror of warning colors, so I took surface streets home.
The upside to this was that I wandered hither and yon through tree-filled neighborhoods and got a preview of peak color (or at least as peak as Georgia gets; we don't ordinarily get bright colors here—more muted tones). This area of the state has a high percentage of pine trees, and also trees that stay green pretty much until the leaves fall off, so the bits of color are more isolated glimpses than an all-over palette change.
As I noticed on Sunday, even further north in Ellijay, the maples have the brightest color this year, but have only a branch or two turning at the time, sometimes even the tips of the leaves only. The predominant color is yellow, except for the dogwood trees, which are in various stages of turning a rusty red color that looks like it's bleeding and puddling into the green. Occasionally, however, a collection of underbrush, like in the neighborhoods around Chastain Park, will beam brightly in the fall triumvirate of yellow, orange, and red, and a tree—again the maples—bursting with gold, russet, and scarlet, like the one standing guard outside the IBM complex off Cobb Parkway, occasionally coming into view to be greeted by choicest ooohs and ahhhs.
What some trees are blooming with most are Hallowe'en decorations: bats, ghosts, mummies, witches bashed into tree trunks. "Mr. Inflatable" on Mt. Paran Road is SRO on his front lawn: spooks, haunts, necromancers, and what looks like the Headless Horseman and I believe an inflatable hearse. The entire atmosphere was spooky on the way home anyway, low grey clouds, the occasional patter of raindrops, the creaking windshield wipers, the previously fallen leaves ground into a moist brownish-yellow paste at the roadside.