This photo was taken at the end of a long day. I got up around 04:00 and drove about 3 hours to Savanna Portage State Park in northern Minnesota. I wanted to take photos of the autumn colors at sunrise.
As I was heading back to the metro area, I stopped at St Croix State Park. While I was there, clouds started to move in and rain began to fall. By this time the sun was beginning to go down. Even though I still had a two-hour drive home, I couldn't leave the park when the conditions were right for a rainbow. I was blessed with a beautiful double rainbow, followed by a gorgeous sunset!
Autumn is my favorite season in Minnesota. During autumn it is hard for me to drive anywhere without wanting to stop to take photos of the beautiful autumn colors. I often return to the same state parks because the colors are different every year. The temperatures, precipitation and sunshine during the year affect the timing and vibrancy of the autumn colors. The ideal conditions for the most vibrant colors include a wet, warm and sunny spring and summer, followed by a cool (but not freezing) and sunny autumn.
Since we had a very dry spring and summer this year (like much of the United States, we are in severe drought conditions), the forecast for vibrant color this autumn was not optimistic. Luckily the forecasts were wrong and the colors were amazing! We were also lucky to have a long colorful autumn season. This autumn was unusually warm, which caused the trees to change color later than in most years. The temperatures remained warm causing the colors to last into November, which gave me many great opportunities to photograph the beautiful colors.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor