High Peaks hues

At the heart of the Great Range trail in the High Peaks Wilderness, the changing autumn colors of Gothics’ northwest and southwest faces blend in with the changing colors as seen from the summit of neighboring Saddleback Mountain. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)
The fragile alpine vegetation near the summit of the 4,827-foot Basin Mountain, the state’s ninth highest point, takes a red orange hue Saturday, contrasting the color of the state’s highest point Mt. Marcy at right, Mt. Skylight at center, and Mt. Haystack at left. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)
Hikers descend the ledges on the west face of the 4,515-foot Saddleback Mountain known as the “Saddleback Cliffs” Saturday afternoon, the steep ascent up to Basin Mountain’s 4,827-foot summit in view straight ahead. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)
Atop the State “Great” Range trail deep in the High Peaks Wilderness, a hiker slides down the ledges on the west face of Saddleback Mountain, known as the “Saddleback Cliffs,” Saturday afternoon, neighboring Basin Mountain’s 4,827-foot summit in view at right. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)
Autumn yellows surround the cascades of Bushnell Falls in the John’s Brook Valley area of the High Peaks Wilderness Saturday morning. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

Cornell University professor Karl Niklas predicts bright 2017 fall foliage in New York state, based on the season’s adequate rainfall and amicable temperatures.

Niklas’s research focuses on plant biology and the relationship between plants and the physical environment.

“Based on past experience and current information about this year’s growing conditions and current weather conditions, we expect the fall foliage of 2017 to be average or above average for viewing. “This expectation is based on the following facts and observations: the vibrancy of fall foliage depends on the current growing season’s favorability — adequate rainfall and amicable temperatures. In addition, the 2017 growing season was mild and favorable, and late August and early September temperatures have fluctuated in a manner that favors bright Autumnal leaf colors, and we have had sufficient rainfall state-wide.

“These facts and observations are sufficient to predict with reasonable confidence that this fall’s leaf coloration will be splendid.

“The best places to see the earliest manifestations of leaf coloration will be in the upper elevations in the northern portion of New York state. Another indication of where to look is to determine where the greatest differences occur between current daytime and nighttime temperatures.”