PORTLAND, Ore. - Imagine walking outside on a crisp autumn day, kicking your feet through the leaves on the ground and looking up at the trees that are changing colors with the season.
Fall is here and that's what we have to look forward to in the coming months.
And since it is now officially fall, we thought we'd give you a visual reminder of what's to come (view the photo gallery for 50 stunning pictures that we found on Flickr). Autumn really is a beautiful time of year, even if a lot of us aren't looking forward to raking up all the leaves from our yard.
There are numerous lists about the best places in the United States to view fall foliage - generally Vermont, Massachusetts and other East coast states rank high.
Who knows why the Pacific Northwest - with all of its trees and forests - generally gets left out but perhaps that's just as well so we can keep the beauty to ourselves.
If you're looking for a great place to view fall foliage, you can check out the Oregon Fall Foliage blog or call the Fall Foliage Hotline (yes - there is actually a hotline for this) at (800) 547-5445. The folks who manage the hotline get weekly updates on fall colors throughout the state and can give you the best tips on where to go. There is also a Fall Foliage Hotline for Washington state - the number is (800) 354-4595.
And in case you're wondering, there is a science to how leaves on trees turn into such brilliant colors in the fall. It has to do with three types of pigments - Chlorophyll, Carotenoids and Anthocyanins. The USDA Forest Service has a detailed explainer here - why leaves change color.