ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The leaves are just beginning to change color in Minnesota.
The Department of Natural Resources posted its first online fall color report of the season, showing the most advanced color changes, at 10 to 25 percent of peak color, over swaths of northeast, north-central, east-central and south-central Minnesota. The DNR plans to update it by noon every Thursday.
The weekly reports show percentage of color change, peak color projections, flowers and grasses in bloom, and three parks designated "hot picks" of the week. This week's picks are Buffalo River and Glendalough state parks in western Minnesota and Judge C.R. Magney State Park in far northeastern Minnesota.
The DNR also offers fall colors "to go" on a mobile website designed for smart phones and tablets.
DNR forest health specialist Jana Albers said in a statement that the arrival of colors was "right on schedule."
"We had a decent amount of rain in August across much of the state, and if the sunshine and cool nights continue in September, that's the ideal recipe for fall color," she said.
Fall colors typically peak between mid-September and early October in the northern third of Minnesota, between late September and early October in the central third, and between late September and mid-October in the southern third, including the Twin Cities).
Staffers at Minnesota's state parks and trails have planned a variety of family-oriented special programs and events to coincide with their projected peak color times.
Minnesota DNR fall colors main site: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html
Minnesota DNR fall colors mobile site: http://www.mndnr.gov/mobile/fall_colors
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.