The end of summer and start of autumn brings out a colorful change in scenery across the Northern Hemisphere. Here, two women ride their horses across a field near Gleidlingen in the Hanover region of Germany on Sept. 2, 2013.
Blueberry and dwarf birch leaves turned to autumn colors, resting among green bearberry leaves and white lichens in Denali National Park, Alaska.
Dew drops on a tangled spider web create a lens reflecting the American Flag.
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) and the rest of the team gather around Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt prior to the Georgia Bulldogs 41-30 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Sept. 7.
A pug wears a jockey figure on the back in the Pug and Bulldog race in Wernau, Germany on Sept. 1, 2013. Around 180 pugs and bulldogs took part in the race.
Dahlias bloom at the Hoehenpark Killesberg in Stuttgart, Germany, on Aug. 31, 2013.
Three leafcutter bees (Megachile spp.), probably alfalfa leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata), snack on a squash blossom.
A 15-meter-long dinosaur made from 2,000 pumpkins stands at Karls Erlebnis Dorf in Roevershagen, Germany on Sept. 6, 2013.
A hay stack turns gold at sunset in a country field near Lucinere, Joue sur Edre, France.
Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) look like autumn flames at Fishlake National Forest, Utah.
A grove of red Aspen trees in Fish Lake Basin, Fishlake National Forest, Utah reflects a rough heart shape.
Leaves on the campus at St. John's University in Collegeville show that autumn has started in Minnesota.
People participate in the Tomato Royal during the inaugural Bull Run at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Va., on Aug. 24, 2013.
A reveler plays in tomato pulp after the annual Tomatina (tomato fight) in the Mediterranean village of Bunol, near Valencia Aug. 28, 2013.
David Ramos/Getty Images
Revelers celebrate covered by tomato pulp while participating the annual Tomatina festival on Aug. 28, 2013 in Bunol, Spain.
Getting in the mood for cider and brisk morning walks with vistas of reds, oranges and golds?
The leaves haven’t started changing yet, but when they do autumn admirers can track the progress of the changing foliage using the U.S. Forest Service’s Fall Colors 2013 website. A map of the U.S will turn from green to red as the majority of leaves in a region hit their prime color. Brown will mean that the peak has passed.
A hotline also provides access to information about autumn’s advance into different regions of the nation.
This will be my wife’s first year to enjoy changing autumn colors. In her hometown of Siguatepeque, Honduras, fragrant pine trees dominate the forests and live up to their evergreen reputation.
Roadtripper‘s leaf peeping guide will help me plan ahead to show off America’s autumnal awesomeness to my wife. Roadtripper features a map with undulating waves of color marking approximately when the peak time for leaf extravagance will arrive. The site also recommends scenic drives that offer loads of leaf love.
We plan to take a cruise along the Great River Road and hopefully catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring over the Mississippi with a background of radiant red, orange and yellow leaves. Talk about a great image to welcome my wife to an American autumn!
IMAGE: Sugar maple, Acer saccharum, leaves in autumn (Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, Wikimedia Commons)