In the waning days of summer, 2013, the first hints of fall color began to tint the forests of New England and Canada. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this clear-sky image of the region on September 18 at 17:55 UTC (1:55 p.m. EDT).
Black borderlines have been overlain on the image to delineate political boundaries. The Canada-United States border runs from west to east across the image, heading northward in the middle of Lake Ontario. The province of Quebec lies north of this line, with the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the northeast corner. Sediment fills the Saint Lawrence River north of Quebec City and further south the city of Montreal can be seen as a large gray smudge along the river. The provinces of New Brunswick and the Nova Scotia, Canada, lie to the east
In the United States, the state of Maine sits just south of New Brunswick, then, from east to west, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Massachusetts sits south of Vermont, while Connecticut and the tiny state of Rhode Island border the Atlantic Ocean. Further south on the coast, sediment pours from the Delaware Bay, which separates New Jersey (north) from Delaware. Pennsylvania sits inland from New Jersey, and south of that lies Maryland.
The forests of northern Maine and Canada are predominately conifers - trees which have needles instead of leaves and which stay dark green all year round. Deciduous trees have leaves, and in the fall the color of the leaves change before they drop from the tree. The fall color change comes first in the north and in areas of higher elevation, while areas to the south and lower elevations change last. While fall leaf colors include orange, red, purple, brown and yellow, the first colors to appear are often yellow. When seen from space, a forest undergoing early leaf change may appear bright or light green or greenish-yellow.
In this image, the northern forests which are rich in conifers remain dark green. Where deciduous trees mix in, patches of light green appear; this is seen especially in eastern Canada and Maine, where the predominant color is a rich bright green. In some areas, especially in New England and Maine, a soft orange glow can be seen mixing with the light green. Further south the forests and fields remain a deeper green.