Fall foliage

Maple trees at Garrison School in mid-October last year. (Courtesy of Karen Mallonee / November 4, 2012)

Take a drive through Maryland's countryside and you'll see that the vibrant reds, yellow and oranges of fall foliage are nearing their peak for the season.

High levels of color were being reported along the Interstate 95 corridor and in points west as of Saturday, according to the Foliage Network, a group that monitors the changing of leaves across the eastern U.S. and Midwest. An updated report was expected Wednesday.

The amount of leaves that have fallen are meanwhile considered low to moderate across Central Maryland, meaning that there is plenty of raking ahead, of course.

Peak foliage color can typically be expected around late October and early November along the I-95 corridor.

In Western Maryland, Allegany and Washington counties were at their peak this past weekend, while Garrett County is already past peak and most leaves having fallen already.

According to the network, key factors in foliage color include temperature, precipitation and wind. Mild days and cool nights are best, while daytime highs that are too warm can make the colors less bright. Rainfall levels throughout the year can affect foliage, with drought causing leaves to turn brown and drop sooner, and windy conditions can cause leaves to fall before they reach peak color.