News / USA

Virginia’s Colorful Autumn Foliage Dazzles Tourists

Virginia’s Colorful Autumn Foliage Dazzles Touristsi
X
October 25, 2013 7:54 PM
Each autumn, a wooded stretch of highway high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia attracts crowds of tourists who come to admire the colorful fall foliage. Deborah Block takes us for a spin on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
Deborah Block
Each autumn, a wooded stretch of highway high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia attracts crowds of tourists who come to admire the colorful fall foliage on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

This couple from Maryland is enjoying the array of colors from one of the nearly 75 overlooks on Skyline Drive.  The view reminds Sandra Andrade of a palette of watercolors.

“Different colored trees, it’s just like everyone is having a party. So colorful!," said Andrade.

Apart from passing cars, Bob Bryant enjoys the serenity.

“What you see and what you hear, which a lot of it is nothing, which is just a wonderful thing to hear when you live in the city," said Bryant.

Park ranger Sally Hurlbert says visitors come from all over the United States and around the world.

“They’re from China, from India, they’re from all over. South Africa. I’ve had people from the Ivory Coast,"  said Hurlbert.

Mihuie Lee is from South Korea.

“Here is very calm and very beautiful," said Lee.

Skyline Drive stretches 169 kilometers through the national park. New Yorker Pardees Goshtasb is awestruck by the spectacular views.

“It really makes you realize how little we are compared to the greater scheme of things. But at the same time, you know, we’re so connected with all of this," said Goshtasb.

She’s hoping to spot some wildlife. Hurlbert says she might catch a glimpse of deer or other animals as they prepare for winter.

“The deer are really fun to see at this time of year. Their colors are blending in with the background and they’re losing their summer coats and getting their winter coats.”

The highest peak in the park is 1,200 meters. Rick Steinberg lives by the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, which are much higher.  

“Such a different vista than the Colorado mountains. All the different colors and the greenery, the shadows, just the overlooks are very different," said Steinberg.

He was surprised to learn that the Blue Ridge Mountains are older than mountain ranges with higher elevations. Hurlbert explains that’s because the Blue Ridge range has eroded over time.

"These mountains are about 250 million-years-old, and when they were first formed they were much higher than they are today. Some people compare their original size to the Alps or the Himalayas. Since then they have been eroding away," she said.

While the leaves on the higher elevations are mostly gone, those in the middle are at peak. On the lower level, Hurlbert says, the leaves haven’t changed but will soon.

“Fall lasts a lot longer because you can see it in different places at different times," said Hurlbert.

By mid-November, she says, the color will be gone and so will many of the tourists.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid