Shenandoah National Park is reporting peak colors as autumn shows its annual gorgeousness around Virginia. Fall took its time arriving this year, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry, but there’s no doubt of the season now.

The highest mountain areas are beginning to brown and lose their leaves, thanks in part to recent rains. But many mountain areas below 3,000 feet are at peak color this weekend, including much of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Valley, the Forestry Department reported Nov. 8. The Piedmont also offers colorful viewing this weekend.

Red and sugar maples are waving bright flags of orange, pink and red, while hickories have melted into clear golden yellows. Interspersed with the green of pines, these trees create blocks of color that rival a crazy quilt. And don’t forget, oaks tend to color later, and their best hues are still to come.

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