autumnThe forest color palette is changing quickly especially in the mountains. In Virginia, leaves start to peak in the western half of the state first, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry. Experts are anticipating leaves in the highest elevations will begin to peak this week; with the Autumn colors stretching down to mid-level elevations in one week then the lowest elevation in the final week of the month. For an explanation of why leaves change color, or to view the weekly foliage report, check the education section at