Beyond the vineyards, “up the hills west of Hwy 29,” Sandy Steinman writes in his blog, the Napa Valley has “quiet twisty roads” that go through the forest. In these hilly residential areas above the valley, there’s lots of fall color to be seen. Below, some vineyards are “showing a lot of color’ while others are past peak.
One of California’s signature fall color trees, the yellow bigleaf maple, provides the predominant color, though also seen are “Spice Bush, Oregon Ash, Willows, Walnut and Oaks. Toyon (often called Christmas berry or California holly) is showing off its bright red berries.” Less colorful but interesting – he notes – are California Buckeye that have lost their leaves, but whose branches are heavy with fruit. Flitting among the trees, Steinman reports, are colorful “Acorn Woodpeckers and Stellar Jays, who were out in number along with Golden-crowned Sparrows, Turkey Vultures and Ravens.”
Often overlooked for their color are silver Lichens which hang down from trees and cover fences with moody foliage.
Napa Valley (Peak 75-100%) – Steinman recommends these roads to see Napa’s backstage fall show: Redwood Road, Mt, Veeder Road and Dry Creek. He writes, they make a nice loop, though not for much longer, as peak is about over. GO NOW!