California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Archive for the ‘Fall Color Report’ Category

New Year Surprise

Tue ,03/01/2017

Cottonwood, Whitney Portal Rd, Lone Pine (12/23/16) Clayton Peoples

My New Year resolution has been fulfilled and color spotter Clayton Peoples made it possible.

I’d resolved to post in January and accomplish the resolution today with Clayton’s report from the Alabama Hills in the Eastern Sierra, west of Lone Pine, where (just before Christmas) he was surprised to find one of his favorite cottonwoods, “still hanging on to its fall-hued, honey/gold leaves.”

Clayton had only seen the tree in summer, previously. So, he was delighted to see it in its fall coat of golden glory.

If you’re driving north on US 395 to Mammoth Mountain to carve S-turns in its powder, you’ll find it by taking a detour onto the Whitney Portal Rd.

It’s visible behind the “face” (painted rock along the Whitney Portal Rd) which locals dubbed “Brenda” before it received a KISS-themed makeover (C’mon folks, there’s no way we mortals can improve upon nature).  Mt. Whitney is seen in the background.

Now, if only losing 20 pounds were as easy.

Whitney Portal – Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT!

Heading Toward A New Year as Fall Color Fades

Tue ,27/12/2016

San Gabriel Mountains, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

White oak leaves, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

The Three Graces, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

White oak leaves, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/23/26) Frank McDonough

The last autumn leaves in California are now carpeting gardens, as seen at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia.

Frank McDonough reports that fall is fading with class and style, there.

In the distance, winter weather embraces the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, dusting high elevations with snow.

Alena Nicholas reported photographing a white Christmas on Christmas Day in the San Bernardino Mountains.

That’s a rarity for Southern California, though televised images from Pasadena will provide typical and compelling Chamber of Commerce images of palm trees contrasted against the snow-capped peaks of the San Gabriel range, as the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl occur on New Year’s Day.

To all our color spotters, photographers and viewers, Happy New Year!

 

Southern California – Past Peak – YOU MISSED IT!

Pointillistic Impressionism at Autumn’s End

Tue ,20/12/2016

Anita Baldwin amidst fallen Gingko leaves, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

On this final day of autumn, we share these artistic images of late fall color seen at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, which scores autumn’s last Peak of the Week.

Frank McDonough’s photographs of the scene remind us of the pointillistic impressionist paintings of Georges Seurat or Paul Signac, as points of bright fall color compose each scene.

This is likely the last post of what has been a beautiful fall. Autumn color will continue to peak this month at California’s lowest elevations, with the best variety of color to be seen in the state’s arboretums and botanic gardens.

Though, in the event we don’t report again this year, “See you next autumn, dude.”

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

Horse chestnut, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

Japanese maple, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

Daimyo oak, upper Baldwin Lagoon, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (12/16/16) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

LA County Arboretum Puts On Its Holiday Best

Tue ,13/12/2016

Crepe myrtle, Historic Section, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Peacock Cafe, LA Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Arcadia (12/13/16) Frank McDonough

Daimyo oak, quercus dentata LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

A road less traveled, near Tule Pond, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Entrance area, LA County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Arcadia (12/13/16) Frank McDonough

Entrance Rotunda, LA County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Arcadia (12/13/16) Frank McDonough

Liquidambar, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Crescent Garden near Turtle Pond, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Paperwhites, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Liquidambar and red maple, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Eastern white oak, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/8/16) Frank McDonough

Fall color is nearing peak at Southern California’s arboretums and botanic gardens, with some species peaking while others are near peak.

Frank McDonough of the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden reports the color is “still kicking” in Arcadia, where Eastern white oak, liquidambar, red maple, daimyo oak, American sycamore and crepe myrtle continue to show deep crimson, orange and red.

Gingko biloba are still patchy, though rapidly approaching peak. Their canopies fan-shaped leaves hang heavy from twisted branches with a drape of lime to yellow color.

Frank captured a “winner, winner, chicken dinner” shot, only this one was a slice of peacock pie taken at the Peacock Cafe stairs. His comment?… “Photo ready – just add peacock.”

This week, we retweeted a photograph of fall color seen at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge and plan a followup report on natural and nighttime illuminated color to be seen at these gardens, during the holidays.

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

First Report: Orange County Lives Up To Its Name

Tue ,13/12/2016

City of Orange (12/10/16) Son Nguyen

Orange County (12/10/16) Son Nguyen

Orange County is living up to its name, with orange leaves adding late autumn color to the season.

Chapman University, Orange (12/10/16) Son Nguyen

City of Orange (12/10/16) Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen visited Chapman University in the City of Orange to find its foliage at peak.

No wonder we rarely get reports from Orange County. Son’s First Report shows that it peaks in December (hand slap to forehead)!

Orange County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Yosemite: Snow White, Fairytale Forest

Tue ,29/11/2016
Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Dead pines, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/28/16) Tracy Zhou

When snow falls in Yosemite Valley when there’s still fall color on the black oak, a fairytale forest appears.

Tracy Zhou captured it yesterday, during a visit to Yosemite Valley where the past weekend’s dusting of snow contrasts beautifully with the last leaves of autumn on the valley’s black oak.

Sadly, some of the color is provided by dead pine trees (killed by bark beetles as a result of the past four years of drought) whose lifeless orange needles still hang to the branches… lovely though discouraging.

Yosemite Valley – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!

Avenue of the Giants – Still Giant

Tue ,29/11/2016
Avenue of the Giants (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Avenue of the Giants (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Avenue of the Giants, US 101 (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Avenue of the Giants, US 101 (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Bigleaf maple, Avenue of the Giants (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Bigleaf maple, Avenue of the Giants (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Eel River, US 101 (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Eel River, US 101 (11/26/16) Son H Nguyen

Can you believe it?

We couldn’t until we saw these pictures sent by Son H Nguyen.

He spent the Thanksgiving Day weekend along the North Coast and returned with these shots of lingering color beside US 101, the Avenue of the Giants.

There’s even some lime among the coastal redwoods.

And, bigleaf maple are showing atypical color… not just yellow, but rust, lime and gold.

Nguyen’s photos show riparian color beside an Eel River that is swollen with muddy water from recent storms.

In a word, “Gigantic.”

Avenue of the Giants – Peak to Past Peak – YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!

 

California Fall Color Looks Back at 2016

Thu ,24/11/2016

On this Thanksgiving Day, CaliforniaFallColor.com is thankful to every color spotter and photographer who contributed photographs and reports in 2016.

They include (from first turned leaf reported): LA Leaf Peeper, Darrell Sano, Alena Nicholas, Sandy Steinman, Sweetshade Lane, Chuck Eads, Josh Wray, Anirudh Natekar, Carolyn Webb, Jill Donald, Mark Finan, Eileen Javora, Don Vilfer, Greg Newbry, Jeff Simpson, Jared Smith, Krisdina Karady, Leslie Morris, Shanda Ochs, Gary Young, Dave Olden, Kimberly Kolafa, Clayton Peoples, John Caffrey, Alicia Vennos, Kimberly Wilkes, Bob Weaver, Robert Provin, Sharon Roberts, Debbi Waldear, John Natelli, Vince Piercey, Kevin Lennox, Tim Fesko, Phillip Reedy, Elliott McGucken, Becky, Scott Turner, Naresh Satyan, Max Forster, Mark DeVitre, Daniel Stas, Mike Nellor, Leor Pantilat, Kevin Rose, Julie Kirby, Gigi deJong, Michael Caffey, Abhi Bhaskaran, Andrew Zheng, Laura Zirino, Jan Davies, Jeri Rangel, Lorissa Soriano, Carol Novacek, Nancy Wright, Janet Fullwood, Jim Van Matre, Jeff Luke Titcomb, Marc Hoshovsky, Gene Miller, Raymond Pangilinan, Crys Black, Jeff Hemming, Michael Beatley, Maggie Huang, Wendy Zhou, Danny Hu, Susan Taylor, Tracy Zhou, Gabriel Leete, Frank McDonough, William Croce, Son H Nguyen, Skandar Reid, Dennis Hayes, Anson Davalos, and Ron Tyler, who produced the above video.

We’re also grateful to the many readers who posted photos and reports to our Facebook page (including: Brian Wong, Dave Butler, Pardhiv Kani, Jeff Guillory, Nancy Barron Booher, Mark Grover, Kathy Jonokuchi, Vera Fuad, Cory Poole, Sara Stillwell, Peter Stair, Front St. Media, JT Humphrey, Ray McLaughlin, Rose Comstock, Daklak Foto, Mark Spicer, Tracey Lee Brown, Joel Rathje, Connie Ostlund Varvais, Susan Walker Bell, Cristi Lanepa and Stephen Dietrich) and those who retweeted our Twitter posts (you are too numerous to name).

Special thanks are expressed to Inyo County Tourism, Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Mono County Tourism, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, and The California Parks Company for underwriting California Fall Color, and to the many reporters and media who carried our reports and gave attention to what we have shown about California’s fall color.

This list is incomplete without mentioning Joan, my wife, who has researched plant species in reference books; driven the car, pulling it over to the shoulder at my whim, so that I could jump out to photograph a particularly beautiful location; humored my recording of color percentages, species and elevations; pointed out particularly beautiful color; and tolerated my exuberance in excitedly showing her wonderful photographs taken by contributors.

Of course, our deepest thanks go to the many tens of thousands of people who have followed CaliforniaFallColor.com here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. You are, after all, the reason we do this.

If we missed thanking you here, please know it wasn’t intentional. CaliforniaFallColor.com is indebted to every color spotter, photographer and commenter. Thank you all.

Autumn doesn’t end on Thanksgiving Day. It continues for nearly a month longer. We’ll continue to post photos and reports as received. Though today, we begin to dial back reports, posting them less frequently. We have also stopped issuing weekly reports to California TV meteorologists, travel and outdoor writers.

So, enjoy Thanksgiving Day. See you next autumn, dude.

California (Peak 75-100%) GO NOW! – In our hearts, California is always peaking.

Botanical Friday

Mon ,21/11/2016
Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Fall color has now descended to see level. See it at the state’s botanical gardens this week.

Erica bauera, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Erica bauera, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Forget-me-not, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Forget-me-not, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Erica glandulosa, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Erica glandulosa, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay Area naturalist and color spotter Sandy Steinman visited the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley to find it filled with late blooming South African flowers.

One could almost be convinced that they’re still on a southern hemisphere springtime calendar, from their November blooms. Nah.

Beautyberries, callicarpa mollis, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Beautyberries, callicarpa mollis, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

The Botanic garden was also full of irridescent Japanese maples, and our favorite ornaments of the season… Beautyberries.

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

Japanese maple, UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (11/20/16) Sandy Steinman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re going this week, the garden closes at 2 p.m. on Wed. and will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

But then, for fall color shopping pleasure, it reopens the following day, which we call “Orange Friday” (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or should we call it “Botanical Friday,” ’cause it sure ain’t black.

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Fall Color in the Fog

Sun ,20/11/2016
Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Napa Valley (11/19/16) Darrell Sano

Fall color intensifies in flat, overcast light, created by a foggy or rainy sky.

Oakland color spotter Darrell Sano was up in the Napa Valley yesterday, as rain swept across Northern California.

He returned with these bright images of fresh green grass and fully turned grape leaves, scenes similar to what Tracy Zhou captured during the previous week’s storm.

Darrell found the “intense, lush green that now blankets the vineyard floor” to be “striking” and contrasting “with what’s left of the reds and yellows on the vines.”

High winds lashed parts of the north state, though wind only strips what was ready to fall.

Leaves in the process of ascission often remain hanging.

Clouds and fog that “hung low among the trees… never did provide definition beyond a gray “softbox” of a sky. Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful, subdued, and introspective.”

Darrell found beauty by searching “the many dead-end lanes that are perpendicular to the highly trafficked route 29 and Silverado Trail.”

Napa Valley – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!