The air sends a chill right through hiking boots, but there is still stuff to do on the Mogollon Rim.
At Woods Canyon Lake, the parking lot by the store still had cars overflowing with fishermen trying to catch the last fish of the season.
Hikers wander off to enjoy the bracing cold and views. They might even find a patch of snow left over from the most recent storm that blew through Rim Country.
Bird watchers catch the osprey diving for fish.
And the leaves have changed.
Yellow aspen leaves. Red maple leaves. Orange and brown oak leaves.
The forest turns into a riot of color that makes anyone gasp.
But what makes these leaves change color?
On the Web site, www.science madesimple.com, the authors explain that leaves are the food-making factory of the tree. As winter approaches, trees store the food they made all year and stop the leaves from making food.
During the spring and summer, the leaves use photosynthesis to feed the tree.
Chlorophyll, sunlight, glucose, water and carbon dioxide combine to sustain the trees.
As the days grow shorter, there will not be enough sunlight or water to make food, so the process shuts down.
The chlorophyll stops coursing through the leaves and they turn colors.
In maples, the red comes from the glucose trapped in the leaves.
The browns and oranges of oaks come from wastes left in the leaves.
The fall colors all reside in the leaves during the year, it just takes the shortening of daylight to bring them out, explained the Science Made Simple Web site.
The colors offer a palate for landscape photographers.
But the time to catch fall colors is fleeting, once a hard frost hits, the trees on the Rim will drop their leaves and the show will end.
For more information on fall color, please visit http://www. paysonrimcountry.com/mountain recreation/paysonfallcolors.aspx.
The best times for viewing fall color on the Mogollon Rim are from mid to late October.