As we slog through the remaining hot, humid days of summer, it’s refreshing to consider the cool, colorful leaf-watching bus tours planned for fall. John Walkowiak, state forestry services bureau chief, says the first trip is through northeast Iowa and will cater to shutterbugs.That tour will be hosted by nationally known wildlife conservation photographer Ty Smedes who will give tips on capturing the beauty of autumn on film. Walkowiak says the second bus tour is through southeast Iowa and will be hosted by state historian Loren Horton and a prairie specialist from the D-N-R who will explain conservation areas and sites along the tour.Walkowiak admits it’s a roll of the dice to try and time the tours to coincide perfectly with the reds, oranges, yellows and browns of fall. He says trees in northern Iowa usually turn color in late September and early October, while trees in the southern half usually turn in mid-October. He says the hot, dry weather of the past few months is also a factor. He says that could make the fall colors quick and muted. Both bus tours include round-trip transportation, food and lodging. The first trip, October 5-7, costs 425-dollars per person, based on double occupancy. The second trip, October 12-14, runs 375-dollars each. For more details, call the State Forest Nursery at 800 865-2477.
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