This is a beautiful picture taken in the Brainerd lakes area recently.

If you are thinking to yourself, “Hey, that’s what the Brainerd area looks like right now?” you can stop yourself right there. Yes, this is a picture taken at one of the lakes somewhere close to Brainerd. And yes, it is recent. In fact, it was taken as recently as four days ago. But most of the area does not look like this.

I get why you would think that it would, though. I had that same thought.

My friend sent me this picture after he went up to the lake this past weekend to do some fishing. I said, that picture looks amazing, I’ve got to get the family in the car make a drive. He stopped me right there and said, don’t expect the whole area to look like this. The fall colors have peaked where he was. But right along the lakeshore, you can still see fall colors like this.

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He said that cooler air temperatures combined with warmer water temperatures could affect the trees around the lake. They don’t change color at the same rate as most of the other trees. He explained it like something like this:

If the water is 56, and the air is 36 at night, the trees around the lake aren't as cold as the rest of them. It also depends on the winds. If it's a 30 mph wind, there's really no chance for that wind to warm up over the water, but if it's a soft breeze, that wind is warming up the water.

And that's how he says it was this weekend. It was one of those perfect weekends. It warmed up enough during the day to make you peel off layers and chilly enough at night, where a fire was perfect.

It's weekends like that, along with our beautiful fall colors, lakes, and the picture you see below that make Minnesota such a great place to live.

Photo: Ryan Herrboldt