As the summer blends into the cooler weather of autumn, a remarkable transformation takes place in the foliage across the country, and it is spectacular around the Lake of Ozarks, as the greens give way to a variety of bright reds, shades of orange and even lovely hues of purple. This makeover starts to occur in early October when black gum, maples, hickories, oaks, and other hardwood trees turn their leaves from green to the astonishing variety of warm shades and convert these normally green forests to a magical colorful kingdom of yellow, orange and red. The Ozarks are among the first places in the state to be painted in these bright hues which reach their peak brilliance by mid-October till mid-November. This brief but explosive spread of colors is a sight to behold and tourists from all over come to Lake of Ozarks to enjoy this natural painting.
All trees and their leaves start out in spring as green. This green color of the leaves is due to the presence of green pigment chlorophyll which is essential for the photosynthesis needed by the trees to convert the energy of the sun for their growth. During the summer season, the green pigment is plentiful in the leaves during the growing season, and they overwhelm and mask the shade of color of any other pigments that may be present in the leaves. As autumn draws in, the sun loses its intensity and it results in the elimination of chlorophyll in the leaves. This loss of the green pigment lets the other, previously masked colors to come up to prominence and eventually it becomes the color of the tree. Each species of trees have their own specific hue and color.
The Ozarks have thick forests spread over a wide area that contains a variety of color changing trees. Hiking trails and scenic overlooks are bustling with activity as the weather is normally great for enjoying a long walk in the woods. Local hiking trails are particularly vivid at this time of the year. Walking, driving or even boating through the forest in autumn around Lake of Ozarks is truly a wonderful experience that should at least be experienced once in a lifetime. Those interested in taking in the sights by water can charter a scenic boat trip in Lake of Ozarks for quite a memorable cruise.
Generally, the color change follows the same pattern year to year, but it can vary, as much depends on the weather. The area is blessed with a great variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. Their leaves change color at different times, so visitors can enjoy a fall color season that may last around four to six weeks. The best time to see the splendors of fall is around mid-October. At this time oaks, hickories, ashes, and maples show their glorious colors. Eventually these bright colors become dull and the leaves fall off the trees leaving them bare.
As the peak colors season comes to a close, the leaves drop off very quickly and you could be left with bare twigs and branches within just a week. By the middle of November, the fall color season is over. You certainly will not be disappointed if you are at the lake at the right time. The Lake of Ozarks region is certainly one of the top spots for viewing the stunning colors of fall.