PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s October, and some Central Illinois hikers like Maureen Leuba love this time of year.
“I do. It’s my favorite season,” Leuba said.
The changing leaves are one of her favorite parts of Fall.
“The leaves stop producing as much chlorophyll and what happens is that that breaks down the green, and you see the pigments in the leaves,” said Luthy Botanical Garden Manager Bob Streitmatter.
In Central Illinois, the end of September and start of October are off to a relatively green start.
Weather is one of the big drivers keeping chlorophyll production going this late in the season.
“It’s very weather dependent a lot of times. And a lot of warmth and we’ve just had a few little drops in temp,” said Streitmatter.
Cooler temperatures, fewer hours of daylight, tree species, and even moisture play a role in what colors can be seen.
Showers and storms, highs in the 80s, and lows staying near 60 or above won’t help in the leaf changing process.
Despite the warm start to the season, Luthy Botanical garden Manager Streitmatter thinks those bright colors and crisp leaves will still make it here this season.
“It seems like we’re going to have a longer fall here, and so we will get some decent color, I feel down the road here. It just depends on the weather guy,” Streitmatter said.
Leuba says she doesn’t mind the wait.
“You know it’s nature, it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do,”