The fall colors this year have been very strange. October was warm and dry, so the trees decided to wait and postpone changing colors. So around Halloween, when the fall colors are usually at their peak in the Ozarks, the trees were still mostly green or brown.
But while the fall colors weren't going to be the best this year, I made the 3 hour drive up to the Buffalo River a few weeks back. I left before dawn, sleepily driving through the dark towards Steele Creek. I arrived just before sunrise, and the river was quiet (except for some deer running around and some early-bird campers getting up). But I was amazed when I headed down to the river and found some good color in the trees growing right along the river.
Maybe being by the water, the trees here had slightly cooler temperatures which caused them to change. The trees on the mountains above the river were mostly brown or had already lost their leaves.
As the sun was rising, I drove over to Boxley Valley. This is one of the prettiest spots in Arkansas, a scenic valley filled with historic homes and barns. The valley's resident elk herd was out in the fields, along with the throng of people perched on the side of the road trying to see the elk. I hurried past and stopped to get pictures of this old barn, which was built in 1915.
And one last shot, taken behind a barn in Boxley Valley. The mountain in the background was beginning to be lit by the light from the sun, as the rest of the valley woke up.