Leaves changing colors always brightens the mood, but what about providing a smile?
People driving along Oregon 17, between the towns of Willamina and Grand Ronde, get quite the treat each fall as a smiley face forms in the trees.
The creation comes from Hampton Lumber co-owner David Hampton and now-retired forester Dennis Creel.
In 2011, Creel and his company planted a mix of Douglas fir and Larch trees during reforestation of the area.
"Dennis knew the hillside was very visible to the highway and just decided to have a little fun," company spokesperson Kristin Rasmussen said. "When it’s time for harvest the wood will be processed into lumber at one of our nearby mills."
The Larch trees' needles change colors in fall and create the body of the face. Douglas fir makes up the mouth and eyes.
Unlike the Douglas fir, Larch trees are deciduous. In autumn, the needles of Larch trees turn golden and then drop off the branches to save nutrients to save later, the U.S. Forest Service says.
The reason deciduous plants turn colors in the autumn is that they are saving nutrients to use later.
The face is said to be about 300 feet in diameter.
Rasmussen says that while the image might lose some definition, the smiley face will return each autumn for the next 30-40 years as the trees continue to grow.