Red maples have moved to the front of the stage as the curtain rises on the second act of nature's fall production here in the hills of southern Iowa. Conditions have been just right to encourage the most brilliant of performances.
Two days of rain are in the forecast, however, so a round of applause is due before these leaves fall and attention turns elsewhere.
These photos were taken Monday at Red Haw and in the Chariton Cemetery, where the concentration of color seems almost too much.
The brilliant golds at Red Haw are hickories taking a bow, too.
And if you keep your eyes open you'll see delicate patterns in native grass etched across the sky.