California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

California’s First “Go Now!” Alert

     Posted on September 17, 2014 by John Poimiroo

Right on schedule, Bishop Creek is reporting the first color in California to near peak. Color spotter Jared Smith of Parchers Resort sends this report with color nearing peak a week later than reported last year.  We consider that to be right on schedule.

Groves Above Cardinal Village 9/16/14 Jared Smith

Groves Above Cardinal Village 9/16/14 Jared Smith

Bishop Creek Canyon Overall Conditions 
Above 8,500′ – Near Peak – GO NOW!

There’s been an explosion of color over the past week above 8,500′ in elevation, with many of the best views in Bishop Creek Canyon (along U.S. 395, west of Bishop) rapidly progressing from patchy color to near peak. The higher groves on the mountainsides are showing the most yellow and orange with the lower lying aspen along the road a mix of brilliant yellow and lime green. It’s impossible to know how long the color will stick around but Jared Smith reports he’s hopeful that we have a few more weeks of spectacular color to enjoy.

7,000′ to 8,500′ – Patchy (10 – 50%)

The lower reaches of Bishop Creek Canyon are showing a bit of color, patchy at best, but deep or lime green still dominates the landscape. Jared reports, “It will be interesting to see if the lower lying aspen turn as quickly as the trees higher in the canyon. Either way, there is still a lot of color to come over the next few weeks if the weather holds out.”

Wier Pond 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Wier Pond 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak ( 50 – 75%) Wier Pond (9,650′) Still some green along the road and stream but the hillside above the pond and many of the aspen along the far side of the pond are turning very fast. I’d wager that peak color will happen here sometime in the next week.

Parchers Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Parchers Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Parchers Camp (9,260′)
The color has really come on strong the past week with about half of the aspen and willow around the camp turned or turning.

Willow Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Willow Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Willow Campground  (9,000′)
Although the campground is now closed, the color is just now starting to pop in this area. The aspen on the hillside are turning fast while the aspen along the beaver pond, road, by the Tyee bridge and in the campground are just now starting.

Sabina Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Sabina Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Sabrina Campground (9,000′) The aspen within the campground are just starting to turn but the aspen along Hwy 168 are near peak color with some gorgeous red and orange showing. The groves just around the corner from the North Lake turnoff, which are just on the other side of the campground, don’t typically exhibit any orange or red but the yellow is pure and bright and is showing big time.

Table Mountain Camp  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Table Mountain Camp 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Comparison, Table Mountain Camp a week ago

Comparison, Table Mountain Camp a week ago

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) Still some green mixed in but the aspen are really popping here with the groves turning or already turned all the way down to the stream. The view from South Lake Road is exceptional just below the campground. Within the campground itself there isn’t a ton of color yet but the best views are of the mountain above it which is really looking nice.

Surveyors Meadow 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Surveyors Meadow 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%)

Comparison, Surveyors Meadow a week ago

Comparison, Surveyors Meadow a week ago

Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′) There is still some green along the road here but the peak color on the mountain to the west of South Lake Road is flat out stunning already and likely to peak within the next week to 10 days.

Lake Sabrina  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina 9/17/14 Jared Smith

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Lake Sabrina (9,150′) As expected the color at Lake Sabrina went off this week with many of the groves at or near peak. Despite some of the lake showing peak color, I rated the color here as near peak as there is still enough green yet to change to allow for more color over the next week or so. Weather, most importantly wind, is the enemy here so if conditions stay calm the color should remain spectacular for some time yet.

North Lake  9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake 9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake  9/17/14 Jared Smith

North Lake 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Comparison, North Lake a week ago

Comparison, North Lake a week ago

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) North Lake (9,255′) While aspen-lined dirt road on the east side of the lake is still mostly green, the aspen covering the mountain directly above the lake, the trees around the first parking area and the aspen all along the west shore have started to turn or already turned and the views are amazing.

Patchy (10 – 50%) Steiny Loop &  Mt. Glen Camp (8,600′) Quite a bit of color has started to develop along the old road referred to as the Steiny Loop. Lime green is most prevalent but some beautiful yellow patches are showing.

Mist Falls  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Mist Falls 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Patchy (10 – 50%) Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) A few touches of yellow just to the right of the waterfall is about all that is going on at this location, by far one of the most popular stops on any fall color tour of the Bishop Creek area.

Aspendell  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Aspendell 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Lime green is all that we’re seeing in Aspendell despite brilliant color just a half mile above the small community.

Comparison, Groves Above Cardinal Village last week

Comparison, Groves Above Cardinal Village last week

GO NOW! – Near Peak (50 – 75%) Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) One of the best views in the canyon right now is from Hwy 168 looking up canyon where gorgeous color has turned from Cardinal mine all the way down to Cardinal Village Resort.

Four Jeffries  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Four Jeffries 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Four Jeffries A few branches have turned but for the most part the aspen here are just now starting to lighten from a deep dark summer green to a lime green.

Intake II  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Intake II 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (10 – 50%) – Intake II There is some color on the mountain above the lake but most of the aspen around the lake are just now a lime green.

Big Trees Campground  9/17/14 Jared Smith

Big Trees Campground 9/17/14 Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Big Trees Campground Very little color is visible at this lower elevation campground. The aspens are huge here and can be quite spectacular during peak color. I’m guessing we’re at least a couple weeks from seeing much here.

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Horned Maple at LA Arboretum

     Posted on September 17, 2014 by John Poimiroo

Color spotter Frank McDonough of the LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens reports early color is appearing in the southland, as evidenced by his picture of the Acer Diablo (horned maple) with color beginning to tinge it’s edges.

Horned Maple (Acer diablo) 9/16/14 Frank McDonough

Horned Maple (Acer diablo) 9/16/14 Frank McDonough

Getting Close Above 8,500′

     Posted on September 10, 2014 by John Poimiroo

Bishop Creek Canyon Overall Conditions
Patchy (10 – 50%)

“Although color in the higher reaches of the Bishop Creek Canyon has arrived a bit earlier than we’re used to seeing,” Color Spotter Jared Smith of the Parchers Resort reports, the difference between last week and this week was only obvious in a few areas with many areas still holding strong to the green of summer. Once you rise above the 8000ft elevation, lime green with some touches of yellow start to appear and once you get over 8500ft, the color is really starting to show in significant patches of aspen. Beyond 9000ft there is quite a bit of color but not much in the way of peak color.

Wier Pond (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Wier Pond (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Wier Pond (9,650′) The foliage along the road and stream is mostly green but some select braches and trees are a brilliant yellow. The hillside above and to the west of the pond is showing significantly more yellow than last week but still a ways off from what we typically see at peak.

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Sabrina Campground (9,000′) A difficult area to grade since the color along Hwy 168 East tends to pop and peak first while the larger old growth aspen along the middle fork of Bishop Creek that meanders through the campground tend to come on later. The trees along the hwy are already well on their way with some gorgeous yellow, orange and red hues to go along with some aspen in full green not yet started. As expected, the campground has a touch of lime but very little yellow.

Tabel Mountain Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Tabel Mountain Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) There are significant patches of yellow showing here already but we’re a ways off from the spectacular color we’re used to seeing in this area in late September.

Suyrveyor's Meadow (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Suyrveyor’s Meadow (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′)While the colors have progressed slightly over the past 7 days, there is still plenty of green yet to turn with some bright patches of yellow crawling down the mountain.

Lake Sabrina (9/10/14) Jaered Smith

Lake Sabrina (9/10/14) Jaered Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Lake Sabrina (9,150′) Lake Sabrina is one location where the color is poised to really bust loose in the next week. The groves towards the inlet side of the lake are really starting to turn and the smaller groves along the east shore are as well. Mostly yellow is showing with a touch of orange, especially across from the boat landing.

North Lake (9/10/14) Jared Smith

North Lake (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – North Lake (9,255′)Lots of variety at North Lake with some of the smaller scrub aspen near the first parking area already brilliant orange and yellow while the famous dirt road stretch looks like July still. The mountain above the lake, known for lots of orange with some red during the peak, is just now turning yellow in substantial patches. I’d be willing to bet it’s going to be go-time for fall color at North Lake in the next 7 to 10 days if the weather holds out.

Mt Glen Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Mt Glen Camp (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Steiny Loop &  Mt. Glen Camp (8600ft) 
Not much going on yet in this area, just a few small patches of brilliant yellow amongst a sea of green.

Mist Falls and The Groves (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Mist Falls and The Groves (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) A few touches of yellow just to the right of the waterfall is about all that is going on at this location, by far one of the most popular stops on any fall color tour of the Bishop Creek area.

Aspendell (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Aspendell (9/10/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Some lime green starting to develop in this charming little mountain community but the vast majority of the area is nearly as green as summertime.

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/10/14)

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/10/14)

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) As green as Aspendell is, it’s surprising that just a half mile above the community there is significant color. The trees on the slopes above Cardinal Village and Cardinal Mine to the south and east are really turning yellow fast. This is going to be one of the first go-now locations.

Additional reports from Parchers Camp, Four Jefferies Camp, Intake II, Big Trees Camp, and more in the coming weeks. As of now all of these areas at or below 8,000ft are all Just Starting (0 – 10%) of peak color.

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Pies, Pastry, Pack Trips and Pubs… Patchy, too

     Posted on September 10, 2014 by John Poimiroo
Patchy aspen at Rock Creek Lake (9/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Patchy aspen at Rock Creek Lake (9/5/14) Alicia Vennos

Mono County Color Spotter Alicia Vennos sends these photos of locations throughout Mono County whose fall color varies from Just Starting to Patchy.  While the color is – at best – patchy, there’s still plenty to do if you prefer pies, pastry, pack trips or pubs.

Rock Creek Lake Resort (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Rock Creek Lake Resort (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Rock Creek
Aspen are beginning to brighten to lime and yellow.  Don’t let the limited color depress you.  Stop by the Rock Creek Lakes Resort for a slice of one of their famous fruit and cream pies. They’ll stay open until Oct. 12.

Convict Lake (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Convict Lake (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Convict Lake
Aspen near the Convict Lake Resort restaurant are a beautiful combination of flickering lime and yellow.

Patchy (10 – 50%) – McGee Creek
The color and elevation are about the same as Rock Creek, brightening to lime and yellow.  Early visitors still have lots to do with hiking, horseback rides and pack trips from the McGee Creek Pack Station and a new bakery at McGee Creek Lodge.  What! More pie?

Just Starting (0 – 10%0 – June Lake
June Lake is a few weeks away from color change, and the color should be glorious when the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival happens on Oct. 11 at Gull Lake Park.  OK, pubs, pies, pastry and peeping.  We’re pumped!

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Lee Vining Canyon/Hwy 120
Still early, though the drive up Hwy 120 to Yosemite National Park’s east entrance is exhilarating.

Greenstone Lake, Twenty Lakes Basin (9/7/14) Alica Vennos

Greenstone Lake, Twenty Lakes Basin (9/7/14) Alica Vennos

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Saddlebag Lake/Tioga Pass
There’s a little color along the shore of Saddlebag Lake.  People often overlook the beauty of ground cover and shrubbery

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Lundy Canyon
This is one of those beautiful places that you have to catch close to peak.  Stay tuned for their reports.

Virginia Lakes (9/1/14) Carolyn Webb

Virginia Lakes (9/1/14) Carolyn Webb

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Virginia Lakes
Similar to Convict Lake, the Virginia Lakes area is just beginning to show color.  The Aspen near the lakes are deformed by wind and weather and endlessly fascinating.

Conway Summit (9/3/14) Alicia Vennos

Conway Summit (9/3/14) Alicia Vennos

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Conway Summit
It’s just starting on the north side with a patchy area to the south.

Twin Lakes (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Twin Lakes (9/9/14) Alicia Vennos

Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Bridgeport/Green Creek/Twin Lakes

A little yellow high up above Twin Lakes, otherwise still in summer.  Upcoming events:

  • Sept 20 and Oct. 18 – Bodie Foundation Photographer’s Day – photograph Bodie SHP from sunrise to sundown.  To register CLICK HERE.
  • Sept 25 – 28 – Hiking the Valley – Join locals on guided hikes of the Antelope Valley.  CLICK HERE for more info.
  • Oct. 4 – Deer Hunter BBQ – A secret recipe is tasted, but not revealed at the Antelope Valley Community Center. For details, CLICK HERE.

Brilliant Yellow and Touch of Orange

     Posted on September 5, 2014 by John Poimiroo
Weir Pond (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Weir Pond (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Color Spotter Jared Smith of the Parcher’s Resort provides the first comprehensive report of autumn, today. Jared notes that historically there hasn’t been much to report on Sept. 5, though this season has been “surprising on many levels, including an early start to the autumn colors.” He continues, “While the majority of aspen and willow are still deep, dark green, many of the trees have started turning with some brilliant yellow and a touch of orange” showing in the Eastern Sierra’s Bishop Creek Canyon. He writes that with a third year of drought, “it’s impossible to predict when the peak color will show, but with higher than average precipitation during summer, we’re hopeful that fall color, despite an early start, will offer spectacular photographic opportunities throughout September and into early or mid October.”

Aspen, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Aspen, Bishop Creek Canyon (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Wier Pond (9,650′) “One of the most scenic locations in the Bishop Creek Canyon is Weir Pond. We’re used to seeing some of the first color of the season here but for whatever reason, there isn’t much happening yet, somewhat of a surprise given the color developing down canyon. A few select branches are in full color but the aspen around the pond and on the mountain above the pond to the west are still mostly green.”

Sabrina Campground (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Sabrina Campground (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Sabrina Campground (9,000′) One of the first places to find peak color is just below the entrance to Sabrina Campground on Hwy 168, especially on the eastern wall of the canyon.  As expected, this area has a lot of aspen turning and some of them even have a bit of orange and red hues.

Table Mountain Camp (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Table Mountain Camp (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Table Mountain Camp (8,900′) A surprising amount of color is already visible in the groves just above and below Table Mountain Group Campground.  The aspen along the road and the camp itself are still green, but the dark green of summer has definitely lightened to a more bright lime green.

Surveyor's Meadow (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Surveyor’s Meadow (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Surveyor’s Meadow (8,975′) Another area that is really ahead of the game is Surveyor’s Meadow. The hillsides above and around Surveyor’s Meadow are already exhibiting some beautiful yellow and gold. It will be interesting to see how things progress here in the coming weeks.

Lake Sabrina (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Lake Sabrina (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Lake Sabrina (9,150′) Despite the drought, water managers have been able to store a fair amount of water in the reservoir at Sabrina adding to the beauty. The groves directly across the lake from the store & café are turning yellow, as are the groves to the west above the main inlet towards the back of the lake. There is still a lot of color on deck but folks could realistically get some exceptional photos now if they wanted. With the 10 day forecast similar to what we’d see during the summer, the color should continue to develop over the next several weeks.

North Lake (9/3/14) Jared Smith

North Lake (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – North Lake (9,255′) The North Lake area has a bit of color, especially on the hillside above the pack station, but the road is still green as can be. This area has a tendency to turn quickly so we’ll be watching closely to see how things progress around this beautiful high country lake. Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Steiny Loop above Mt. Glen Camp (8,600′) This is somewhat of a sleeper spot for photographers being that these groves are along a dirt road off of South Lake Road. A few aspens have branches that are turning but the majority of the trees are still green, albeit a bit lighter shade of green than we typically see in the summer. Judging by the lime green leaves, I would expect to see some significant color in the next week to 10 days.

Mist Falls and Groves (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Mist Falls and Groves (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350′) Not much color here but there are a few trees that are ahead of the game and showing some yellow. The trees in this area tend to peak late in September or even early to mid October so it’s no surprise that there isn’t much going on yet. Just Starting – 0 – 10% – Aspendell (8,400′) Another area that tends to peak later is the small community of Aspendell. There is little to no color around the neighborhood as of today.

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Groves above Cardinal Village (9/3/14) Jared Smith

Patchy – 10 – 50% – Groves Above Cardinal Village (8,550′) As green as Aspendell is, it’s surprising that just a half mile above the community there is significant color already. The trees on the east slope above Cardinal Village are already turning yellow. One of the best views in the canyon can be captured from a turnout just above Aspendell.

Bishop (United States)
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  • Tuesday Today 54 - 86 °F
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Patches of Color Appearing in Mono County

     Posted on September 2, 2014 by John Poimiroo
Little Lakes Valley Trail (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Little Lakes Valley Trail (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Late summer wildflowers,  Little Lakes Valley Trail (9/1/14)   Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Late summer wildflowers, Little Lakes Valley Trail (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Just Starting – Rock Creek. With nighttime temperatures dipping into the low 40s, color spotter Alicia Vennos says the first hints of color are gracing the aspen of Mono County. Rock Creek is a perennial season leader in this part of the Eastern Sierra.  Though, as of Labor Day (Sept. 1), just a few trees around the Rock Creek Lake area (9800′) were showing patches of color.

Rock Creek Road (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek Road (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Along the Little Lakes Valley trail at the end of Rock Creek Road, the lake grass is a gorgeous blend of lime green and gold, and some hardy wildflowers are still hanging on to summer — the contrast with the reddening underbrush is delightful.

Rock Creek Road (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek Road (9/1/14) Alicia Vennos/Mono County Tourism

Rock Creek Road Construction:  please note that much-needed road improvements — including the addition of a new bicycle lane — are taking place on Rock Creek Road, mid-week/non-holidays, so expect delays. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Just Starting – McGee Creek Canyon

McGee Creek Canyon and Devils Postpile are also reported to be starting to change, again at 0-10%.

June Lake

Plan a visit around the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival, Sat., Oct. 11.  The new June Lake Brewery, which opened in summer, will be joined by several craft brewers for the second annual festival at Gull Lake park.  For more info, CLICK HERE.

Mono County Lodging – For lodging options by community/town and the best deals, visit MonoCounty.org.

A Copse Colors Up Along Hwy 267

     Posted on August 29, 2014 by John Poimiroo

Traveling Hwy 267 from Truckee to Kings Beach, yesterday, we passed groves of aspen that are still green, though showing early signs of color.  A copse of aspen have begun to show flashes of yellow at approx. 6,500′.

Just Starting – Hwy 267

Rancho San Antonio Refrigerator Trees Get Hot

     Posted on August 25, 2014 by John Poimiroo
Arbutus menziesii (11/9/12) John Poimiroo

Arbutus (strawberry tree) (11/9/12) John Poimiroo

Refrigerator trees (madrone) in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Reserve (Los Altos) are warming up with red, orange and yellow in an early display that has local spotters asking whether the drought has contributed to this unseasonal show of fall color.

Wiki.answers.com reports that the madrone (arbutus menziesii) is native to chaparral regions. Its outside layer and leaves use sunlight to photosynthesize nutrients and energy. Since the outside layer of madrone trunks transports water and life-supporting fluids, the trunk of the tree is cold, explaining why madrones are called the refrigerator tree. Madrone do not have a dead layer of bark on their trunks or branches. The entire tree produces energy, including the trunk and branches. Just Starting – Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

Early Color in Los Angeles

     Posted on August 13, 2014 by John Poimiroo
Liquidambar, South of West Hollywood in LA (8/12/14 - LA Leaf Peeper)

Liquidambar, South of West Hollywood in LA (8/12/14 – LA Leaf Peeper)

Wow!  One of our loyal followers (she calls herself LA Leaf Peeper) sends this photo of early color in Los Angeles, south of West Hollywood. It appears to be a liquidambar (sweet gum) that has begun to show color.  LA Leaf Peeper writes that these trees are glorious in November, so the early splash of red was a delightful mid-August surprise.

Spots of color change are happening now, as individual specimens turn earlier than expected.  The amount of light (a major trigger of color change) is relatively constant, so that’s not likely a factor, though water, weather and an individual tree or shrub’s genetic coding could most certainly contribute to a disposition for early change.  LA Leaf Peeper adds, humorously that at least, “The left tree still knows it is summer.”

Just Starting – Los Angeles – individual specimen trees are beginning to show color.

New Interactive Map

     Posted on August 12, 2014 by John Poimiroo

New for 2014 is the California Fall Color Map seen at left.  This interactive map is exclusive to CaliforniaFallColor.com and provides a quick way to see where the color is changing in California and at what stage.

Non-reporting areas appear in dark green.  All reporting areas have leaves in light green, yellow, orange, red or brown, depending on the fall color’s stage of development. This new scale matches that used by The Weather Channel: Just starting, patchy, near peak, peak and past peak. The colors are based on reports received from volunteer color spotters located throughout California.

Anyone can be a color spotter.  Just email a current report to editor@californiafallcolor.com stating where the fall color is seen, at what stage the color is (just starting, patchy, near peak, peak, past peak), your name and – if you have one – a current photograph of what you’re reporting.  We’ll publish the report with credit attributed to you.

Each Thursday morning from the first day of autumn to Thanksgiving Day, we send summaries of each week’s reports to media across California (every TV meteorologist and all travel and outdoor reporters) based on reports received from our network of color spotters.  The best photos could appear, with credit, in newspapers or on TV.

Though no color is yet appearing, our first report this year is from St. Helena in the Napa Valley where Brian Baker of the Chateau Montelena winery notes that an early harvest is expected.  That could mean an earlier show of fall color in the vineyards.