Dry schmy: DNR forecasts brilliant fall colors

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Sure, it's dry. Much of Minnesota is in the midst of a drought.

But the good news is that nature's palette was moistened enough early in the summer so that a colorful autumn show awaits us.

At least, that's what Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources expects. The agency released its fall color forecast Monday and will begin weekly updates to its fall color page at the DNR website.

Right now the map on that page - like the foliage on the trees - is still green. But give it time.

And some nice, sunny days that give way to brisk (but not frosty) nights. In case you've forgotten, that's the scientific recipe behind seeing those green leaves turn yellow. And gold. And orange. And red. And brown. And then fall to the ground from branches that are getting snow-covered.... Whoa! A little ahead of things, there.

For now, let's just enjoy the green leaves while we have them. And maybe come up with a plan for where we'd like to gawk at those other colors once they start breaking out. The tourism agency Explore Minnesota suggests ten scenic drives to help you get started. Or blaze your own trails through woods that before you know it will be ablaze with color.

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