Nature’s free fall show is starting, with the peak days forecast from about Halloween into early November. 

I considered this while driving to and from Glenwood, Iowa, recently. The hilly, scenic non-Interstate route was pretty but still mainly green. Scott Evans, the horticulture program coordinator at the Douglas-Sarpy County Extension Service, said the trees need a little more time.

The upside of all this rain is a more colorful landscape. Walnut and ash trees are changing and dropping their leaves. Sumac is reaching its peak. Oaks, maples and other hardwoods have some more time.

Of course, people can inject fall color into their yards by planting mums, although time is running out for that. Evans assured my inner procrastinator that it’s almost better to wait until spring “so they get better established.”

Where is the best place to view fall leaves? The answer boils down to this in northeast Nebraska or western Iowa: Anywhere with hills.

Evans suggested Platte River State Park’s viewing tower, 85 feet from ground level.

On Twitter, others suggested the following:

  • Take a drive along U.S. Highway 75.
  • Visit Preparation Canyon State Park in Iowa, which is about an hour's drive northeast of downtown Omaha.
  • Go to Nebraska's Indian Cave State Park, about a 90-mile drive south of downtown Omaha.

One of my favorite places is in Omaha, Memorial Park, 6005 Underwood Ave.

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Metro columnist

Columnist Erin Grace has covered a variety of beats since she started at The World-Herald in 1998 — from education to City Hall and from the city's western suburbs to its inner-city neighborhoods. Follow her on Twitter @ErinGraceOWH. Phone: 402-444-1136.

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