Click here for the 2012 fall color gallery

The edges of these sassafras leaves found on Grandfather Mountain appear to have been dipped in red paint as their chlorophyll production is slowly coming to a halt.  (Photo by Skip Sickler)

Color is very spotty in most areas with Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain being other high places to look for the first signs of fall.  Most hillsides right now at the higher elevations are showing signs of transition but the more widespread change is a week or two away depending on the area.