Increasingly, since the beginning of August, blue oak leaves have begun appearing on my lawn. I never see them falling and the oaks still seem to be full of blue-green foliage. It’s an invisible rain. One day, nothing. The next, a carpet of dry detritus.
I suppose the oaks are telling me fall is approaching. This is about the time of year (early August) when our color spotters and loyal followers start looking us up, wondering if what they’re seeing is already being reported by us.
The appearance of autumn always happens here or there in mid to late summer… a single tree begins to show flashes of yellow, leaves begin falling and yards become littered as mine has.
The drought seems to have little to do with this though, certainly, lack of water affects foliage and shortens the brilliance or duration of the display. Still, there will be color change and it will be spectacular in locations throughout the state. Though, our guess is that some places that were glorious in past years, may be disappointing this year.
One way to know where the color is best, is to keep returning to this site. Our reporting begins in earnest in September, though if early reports are received we’ll post them. As in the past, anyone can be a color spotter. Simply email your report or photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on any of this site’s blogs, tweet to @CalifFallColor, or post on our Facebook page, California Fall Color.
If you’ve searched for us on Google lately, you may have noticed that someone supposedly hacked our site. As far as we can tell, our site was not hacked. What was hacked was how Google describes us in search results. Visiting californiafallcolor.com is entirely safe. Do not fear visiting californiafallcolor.com or clicking through on Google to it.
Our tech has reset how we describe this site to Google and I’m told it will take Google 30 days to scrub what the hacker inserted and return our listing to its correct description. The hacking of Google was a senseless, criminal act that had the effect of alarming internet users searching for our site.
More fundamental than our frustration over someone else trying to take advantage of our site’s renown is the question, “Who thinks it’s a good business practice to insert your message in someone else’s promotion?” The hacker got Google to add words promoting purchase of erectile dysfunction medication next to our site’s name and to replace the description of our site in Google with a message to buy pharmaceuticals online, in search results. However, the hacking was so inept that the hacker failed to provide a link to the pharmaceutical supplier. Had they identified themselves, we would have sought legal action to prosecute them for trade infringement.
Ah well, on to happier things. We’re working on a new, interactive California Fall Color Map to appear on the home page that will show where color can be seen in all corners of California. More about the new map will be reported in our next blog. Regular reports will begin in September, though we will publish any report of fall color emailed to email@example.com. In the meantime, enjoy the invisible rain.