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Christian Howe’s annual fall report from southern Cook County to the Northwoods

Southern Cook County to Lake County, IL – starting to see changes, mainly autumn maples, ash and locust trees. Oaks lightening.

Lake county to the Cheddar Curtain – some maples, a few oaks and other hardwoods brighten, cottonwood nearing peak along with scrub brush.

Cheddar Curtain to Whitefish Bay – A few bright spots featuring maples, ash and cottonwood Most trees in early stages of changing.

Whitefish Bay to Sheboygan – oak, maple, birch are brightening in patches, other areas still green. Cottonwoods near peak. This weekend could be near or at peak colors especially near the Big Pond. Ferns are down, scrub and saplings are in full color.

Sheboygan to Green Bay (Booo)- Everything is on the brink of breaking out into or at peak colors. Vibrant oaks, maples, poplar and birch mixed in with the stragglers. With the crummy weather for the next few days peak colors could be over this weekend.

Green Bay to Lena – The big show is on in places, others past peak! Closer to Lena the colors started tapering off in spots. With the crummy weather scheduled for the next few days, I expect everything north of Lena to be over this weekend.

Lena to Florence – Unbelievable colors, the best I’ve seen in over a decade! Tamark’s (my favorite) starting to change.

Florence to the Ottawa National Forest via US 141 to US 2 – Tamark’s near full color. It can be patchy in places, but once again some of the best, brightest colors I have seen in quite a long time.

US 2 Corridor from Ironwood East to Iron Mountain – What a show. There are patches that are past peak, and equally as many that are near or at peak. Tamaracks near peak in places.

US 2 Corridor from Iron Mountain to Manistique, MI – Past peak in many places, but crest a hill or turn a corner and you’re right back into it. The Forest Service roads offer some excellent colors. The surprise was how far behind the colors are in the Escanaba, Gladstone and Manistique areas. Maples are just starting to change their tone, along with white oaks and birch. Little and Big Bay De Noc barley have any noticeable change.

The neighbors report the rut is not even close. We saw more Deer in this trip in over 5 years. I’m no scientist, but it looks like the deer population is starting to recover after a few hard winters in a row. Ducks, Geese, Swans are starting to move through.

We’re back home now, prepping for knee surgery now. Another season in the field lost, oh well. I hope to see you out there fall perch (I have a boat now), maybe ice fishing and for spring coho

Christian Howe

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