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Less To Cheer About

June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

McGee Creek (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Color spotters may have less to cheer about Sunday afternoon, should strong winds (20 – 30 mph) blow across the High Sierra and Cascades, as now predicted.

Locations shown in this article were photographed within the past week. Today (Fri., Oct. 26), tomorrow (Sat., Oct 27) and Sunday morning (Oct. 28) may be the last days to raise your arms in celebration at these locations, if it is windy on Sunday afternoon.

So, if you wanted to see peak color this autumn at Mono County, Lake Tahoe or Plumas County, change your plans and GO NOW! 

McGee Creek (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Convict Lake (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

In anticipation of changing peak areas, we’ve shifted the weather forecast on this site from Mammoth Lakes to Quincy. When judging weather (temp., precip., wind), please keep this in mind.

Should high winds arrive Sunday afternoon, peaked leaves will be stripped quickly from the trees and the peak color you see in these photos will be gone.

That does not mean, however, that California’s autumn show will end.

Trees still carrying green, lime or freshly yellow leaves will not lose many from the wind. And, areas not yet at Peak will continue to develop fall color. They include the: Western Sierra (Yosemite NP, Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon NP, Calaveras Big Trees SP) , Southern California mountains, Trinity County, North Coast, Gold Country, all wine country regions, Central Valley orchards and California’s urban forests.

Nevertheless, if you want to see June Lake, Lake Tahoe, or Plumas County this autumn, get there before Sunday afternoon. Any later and we may be reporting, YOU MISSED IT! 

Conway Summit (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

(10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Conway Summit (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Beaver Ponds, Lundy Canyon (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Aspen, June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Cyclists, June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop (10/24/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twin Lakes, Mono County (10/21/18) Rodney Chai

Conway Summit (10/21/18) Rodney Chai

McGee Creek Canyon (10/21/18) Rodney Chai

McGee Creek Campground (10/21/18) Rodney Chai

Lundy Canyon (10/20/18) Crys Black

Upper Summers Meadow (10/20/18) Crys Black

Upper Summers Meadow (10/20/18) Crys Black

Twin Lakes, Mono County (10/20/18) Crys Black

Luther Pass, CA-89 (10/20/18) John King

Luther Pass, CA-89 (10/20/18) John King

Luther Pass, CA-89 (10/20/18) John King

Black oak, Greenville (10/21/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Black oak, Greenville (10/21/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Black oak, Hideaway Motel, Greenville (10/21/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Black oak, Hideaway Motel, Greenville (10/21/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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… The Threaded Foliage Sigh.

Beneath the forest’s skirts I rest,
Whose branching pines rise dark and high,
And hear the breezes of the West
Among the threaded foliage sigh.
— William Cullen Bryant

Such scenes are happening in California this week, as Peak color is blown by west winds of up to 20 mph.

Aspen Grove, Sand to Snow Nat’l Monument (9/29/18) Alena Nicholas

Aspen Grove, Sand to Snow Nat’l Monument (9/29/18) Alena Nicholas

Southern California color spotter Alena Nicholas hiked up to the Aspen Grove in the San Gorgonio Wilderness this past Saturday, returning with photographs of Near Peak color that show Patchy and Near Peak aspen pushing up within a forest of blackened trunks incinerated in the 2015 fire.

The grove is now part of the new Snow to Sand National Monument in the San Gorgonio Wilderness of the San Bernardino National Forest. A larger story on this aspen grove and its recovery is planned in a future article.

Alena called this morning to lament that strong winds from the edges of Tropical Storm Rosa may strip turned color which photos indicated might peak by the coming weekend.

However, there’s lots of green in the forest, so the peak will last another week or two. If you’d like to visit it, the Aspen Grove is accessible only by hiking there (about 1.5 mi.) along Aspen Forest Road 1N05.

Considering this week’s winds, you might want to consider to … GO NOW!

Hope Valley (9/30/18) Dan Varvais

Hope Valley (9/30/18) Dan Varvais

Hope Valley (9/30/18) Connie Varvais

Hope Valley (9/30/18) Connie Varvais

At Hope Valley, Dan and Connie Varvais photographed aspen and lamented that “It’s a mixed bag, right now … (and) It’s windy, GO NOW!” 

Aspen Grove, San Gorgonio Wilderness, Sand to Snow National Monument – Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) GO NOW!

Hope Valley – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Dreary Day, Yet Still Colorful

 

Gingko biloba, Esplande, Chico (12/2/17) Robert Kermen

Crowned sparrow, Esplanade, Chico (11/2/17) Robert Kermen

Robert Kermen spent a “dreary day” in Chico on Saturday, though photographs he took along the Esplanade show otherwise. That’s because though overcast looms, color is intensified on dreary days.

And, with leaves off many of the branches, songbirds are easier to photograph as they search for food and sing about the weather.

 

Sailor’s Delight

Folsom Lake sunset (11/19/17) John Poimiroo

Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning;

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

Why do mariners repeat this lore? Blame William Shakespeare, the playright, or Matthew, the disciple.

In Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare wrote of red skies in the morning:

Like a red morn that ever yet betokened,
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.

In the new testament of the Bible, Matthew (16:2-3), attributed the following red sky at night reference to Jesus, “When it is evening, ye say, fair weather: for the heaven is red.”

These help explain the popularity of the rhyme, but not how it came to be believed or whether it’s true.

Folsom Lake sunset (11/19/17) John Poimiroo

The federal National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory informs that because weather generally moves from west to east, when the horizon is clear of storms at dusk, sunlight is able to pass through more of the atmosphere.

The longer sunlight passes through air molecules and particulates the more red and orange light is intensified.

That’s because blue light – because of its shorter wavelength – is scattered easiest by nitrogen and oxygen air molecules, whereas reds and oranges – with longer wavelengths – are not scattered as much over the same distance.

And, when there’s no storm approaching from the west, sunlight travels a longer distance through the atmosphere. That phenomenon is even greater in autumn, due to the low angle of sunlight at sunrise and sunset in the Northern Hemisphere.

As for red skies in the morning, the same idea applies, but in reverse. Redness in the sky occurs when warm morning light reflects off high storm clouds approaching from the west.

The reason sailors should take warning when red clouds are overhead at sunrise, is that they are likely the leading edge of an approaching storm, unseen in the morning darkness to the west.

 

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Storm Arriving

Truckee River (10/19/17) Herb Huang

Foray Rd., Greenville, Plumas County (10/18/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Locations like these, shot by Herb Huang and Jeff Luke Titcomb, will be overcast for the next 24-hours as a storm passes over Northern California.

The storm will blow turned leaves from most trees, but it won’t denude them.

Lots of color will remain, particularly on trees that were nearing peak, as they still have the strength in the leaves to, as Avril Lavigne would sing…

Keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through
Just stay strong
‘Cause you know I’m here for you
I’m here for you
There’s nothing you could say
Nothing you could do
There’s no other way when it comes to the truth
So keep holding on
‘Cause you know we’ll make it through
We’ll make it through