Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 7, 2013

Four Season Country foliage nears peak for leaf peepers

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — From pumpkin patches to crisp fall mornings, who doesn’t love driving down a winding back road admiring all the colorful leaves on the trees?

Fall has arrived and leaves have begun to change on the trees. Many area residents enjoy snapping a picture of those beautiful red, orange and yellow leaves.  But some can still use a few good pointers on how and where to take pictures of those gorgeous leaves this fall.

Bob Hoge, 911 center director for Mercer County, said some of the best areas for viewing fall foliage include Shoemaker Falls Road down by the New River, Hill Top Road, Beckley Road in Flat Top, Nubbins Ridge Road, Clines Country Road and Crane Creek Road. And of course the overlook on East River Mountain is always a given, according to Hoge.

David McNeil of Grubb Photography in Bluefield, has several tips for taking the best fall foliage photographs. They include:

• Look for good lighting, back lighting on the leaves and also fully lit trees and leaves.

• Try out different angles and see what you think looks good to you.

• Close up’s are always nice, McNeil said. Instead of using the automatic setting on your camera, try to play around with the different color balance settings to get the best results.

According to Leslie Fitzwater, a public information specialist for the West Virginia Division of Forestry, fall foliage in Mercer County is only at about 35 percent right now, but in about seven to 10 days everything should be reaching its peak.

Mike Sporer, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said the peak season for southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia will be late October.

“We had a very wet summer and there is a good leaf crop that will be able to turn colors,” he said.

Sporer said forecasters are predicting a bright splash of color this autumn.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

Lifestyles Editor Jamie Parsell contributed to this story.