Minnesotans love autumn, and nothing is more 'autumn' in Minnesota than Mother Nature's delivery of brilliant yellows, reds, and oranges on the leaves of our state's trees.

While we've had some cooler than normal temperatures lately, it's only the middle of September, and here in Central Minnesota that's a bit early for widespread fall colors.

Sure I see some trees starting to turn in my neighborhood on the south side of St. Cloud, but only the extreme North Central part of the state is experiencing a consistent change over to autumn colors.

Minnesota DNR

The peak fall colors usually occur across Minnesota in a gradual march across the state from North to South from mid-September through mid-October -- with Central Minnesota usually experiencing its peak late September to early October.

Minnesota DNR

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, four main groups of chemicals are responsible for the color changes in Minnesota trees every autumn. According to the MN DNR the reds, yellows, oranges, and browns are due to the changes in Chlorophyll, Carotenoids, Anthocyanins, and Tannins.

Until the fall colors arrive you'll just have to push your way through with Pumpkin Spice this and Pumpkin Spice that. Now I enjoy a nice pumpkin-spice latte at Caribou every now and then -- it doesn't compare to a hot bowl of Autumn Squash soup at Panera. (If you've had it, you know what I'm talking about.)

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

How to Make a Great Minnesotan - Recipe