Days are growing shorter and somewhere the leaves already are starting to turn color.
Whether you're thinking of taking an afternoon drive, a weekend trek or a full "leaf peeping" vacation, the Web is full of sites that'll tell you where and when to find the best viewing.
They might not all be giving color updates yet for 2001, but they can at least give you a start on making plans, including places to stay and other sights to see along the way.
Start up north in the woods of Maine www.state.me.us/doc/foliage/index.html where foliage reports started Wednesday. Entertain yourself with their photo gallery, and hit When & Where to Visit to pick out some spots to visit.
If you're not sure the trip is worth the effort, visit Foliage Vermont www.foliage-vermont.com and take a few minutes to scan the slide shows and video. Vermont Fall Foliage www.vtweb.com/foliage says this year's foliage reports are coming soon, along with a Live Webcam. And clicking on More Foliage Information at the state Department of Tourism's foliage site www.1-800-vermont.com/seasons/fall.asp will take you to a summary of this year's leaf conditions and suggested driving tours.
Don't ignore the possibilities in the upper Midwest. Michigan www.ring.com/travel/color.htm promises fall color updates beginning in mid-September, and has autumn festivals and suggested tours. Minnesota has already started color reports; visit Explore Minnesota www.exploreminnesota.com and click on Weekly Updated Reports.
And the Great Lakes Information Network www.great-lakes.net/tourism/fallcolor.html has links to more information on Illinois, Ohio, Ontario, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Don't want to go that far north? Take a look at Fall in the Ozarks www.ozarkmtns.com/foliage/index.htm and its photo album.