Drone video taken on Sunday shows rich hues ranging from bronze to burgundy peppered throughout green treetops around Caribou Lake in northeastern Minnesota.
"The fall colors are really starting to show in the higher elevations near Lake Superior," Murphy said.
More vibrant colors are in store for the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as the state usually reaches its peak fall color by early to mid-October.
The changing colors are the result of leaves being drained of their chlorophyll, a pigment that gives leaves their green color. Chlorophyll is also responsible for capturing sunlight and turning it into sugar.
However, other pigments are also found in leaves throughout the year or are only produced during fall, says SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Those pigments include:
- Xanthophylls - Pigments that create yellows and are found throughout the year in trees like tulip trees and sweetgum (but are masked by chlorophyll until fall).
- Carotenoids - Pigments that create oranges and are found throughout the year in trees like aspens and birches (but are masked by chlorophyll until fall).
- Anthocyanins - Pigments that create red and purples in trees like maples and dogwoods and are only produced in the fall.
In addition to the presence of pigments, a number of weather factors can contribute to the richness and timing of fall colors. For example, experts say that the late arrival of spring or a significant summer drought can delay the colors by several weeks.
The addition of significant cool spells or even tropical cyclones, especially along the eastern seaboard, can alter the season altogether and prevent the vibrant colors from making their return.
To see when more areas reach their peak fall colors, click here.