California Fall Color
Dude, autumn happens here, too.

Posts Tagged ‘Bishop’

Bishop: Look East to See the Sunset

Tue ,08/11/2016

Videographer Skandar Reid shows how to watch sunsets in the Eastern Sierra… turn toward the east.

That’s because sunset light bends through the atmosphere at high elevations to create a phenomenon called alpenglow that colors high peaks to the east.

That happens in Bishop where sunsets beyond the Sierra illuminate the eastern White Mountains with their alpenglow.  So, at sunset in the Eastern Sierra, look east.

The reverse happens at sunrise… look west.

Clear
Tuesday
Clear
High 57°/Low 20°
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday
Partly Cloudy
High 47°/Low 26°
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
Partly Cloudy
High 59°/Low 35°
Partly Cloudy
Friday
Partly Cloudy
High 63°/Low 35°

Bishop: Eastern Sierra Prize

Sun ,06/11/2016
Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

Bishop (11/2/16) William Croce

William Croce calls Bishop, the Round Valley and US Hwy 6, a “Nice consolation prize for those of us who missed the good stuff in the high country.”

Indeed it is.  Too many color spotters give up on Bishop once the aspen have peaked up Bishop Creek Canyon, but they’re missing out on the beauty that William found… tall Fremont cottonwood carrying loads of yellow, gold and lime color in Bishop and along US 6, past Laws.

Bishop color spotter Gigi deJong reported today that there’s “a mix of color, ranging from light yellow, to burnt orange, to a few small patches of crimson & red,” in and around Bishop with “a lovely line of trees glowing gold bordering Bishop Middle School at W. Line & Home Streets.”

That hardly resembles a consolation prize, and neither do William Croce’s photographs.

Bishop – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

 

 

A Morning, Well-spent, in Bishop

Thu ,13/10/2016
West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

West Line St., Bishop (10/13/16) Gigi deJong

Drive around your town, as Gigi deJong did this morning in Bishop, and you’ll find trees full of color poking out from above rooftops and gathering in front yards, like neighbors catching up on the latest gossip.  

“Did you hear a storm is coming?” “No! Really?”

“Yup. It’s supposed to last through the weekend.”

Then, Gigi drove slowly along West Line St. – the route you take to get to Bishop Creek Canyon – and found an assortment of fall colors. “Just beautiful,” she wrote.

“Izaak Walton Park is lovely any time of day,” she commented, “and the ‘mini’ forest on the corner at Reata Road has a wonderful radiance.”

Gigi turned toward the Eastern Sierra to see a dark sky descending over the snow-capped range. It added drama to her morning well-spent discovering fall color in Bishop.

Northern Owens Valley Burnished With Orange

Wed ,12/10/2016
Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Color spotter Gigi deJong drove southeast of Bishop toward the Owens River and the Buckley Ponds in search of color, today.

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

A smattering of yellow decorates the Bishop Country Club which is otherwise “still beautifully green” and is likely a “late starter.” She predicts it will approach peak in a few days to a week, depending on how much wind lashes the East Side, this week. 

There are large and small cottonwood trees dotted all across the northern Owens Valley floor. Some are loners, others in groves. The smaller trees range from fully yellow with burnished orange tips to an overall bronzed orange.

She writes, “The larger trees are just beginning to turn yellow on the tops and edges. Deep red leaves on creeping vines appear as if on fire as they curl around gnarled old wood of dead trees alongside the creeks. 

“A high point along Eastside road that runs along the base of the White mountains provides a panoramic view of the Owens River valley and the Sierra Nevada beyond. Early morning and sunset are always beautiful out here. 

“The creek, marshes and ponds along Buckley Ponds road have abundant birdlife and the reeds are a shimmering copper color. 

“There are large individual trees in many spots in and around Bishop that are almost iridescent yellow. There’s a large grove almost directly opposite my cottage and I’ll go out early tomorrow morning and try and get a few good shots.” 

Owens Valley – Patchy (10-50%)

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Buckley Ponds, Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Owens Valley (10/12/16) Gigi deJong

Gallimauphry: Weekend Update

Mon ,10/10/2016
Hope Valley (10/8/16) Andrew Zheng

Hope Valley (10/8/16) Andrew Zheng

This is one of the longest reports California Fall Color has ever published. It is so, because of many detailed reports received.

Unbeknownst to us, our inbox crashed along with the server, causing reports sent to us last week to arrive today. So, please bear with this long post, as it’s full of great photos and important guidance for the week ahead.

NORTHERN SIERRA

The upper areas of the Hope Valley are past peak, though as seen in Andrew Zheng’s photo (above) of the cabin near the junction of CA-88 and CA-89, a mix of developing lime to fully peaked trees can be seen side-by-side with stripped trees.

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

EASTERN SIERRA

Glacier Lodge (10/5/16) Clayton Peoples

Glacier Lodge (10/5/16) Clayton Peoples

First Report: Longtime contributor, Clayton Peoples sent news of “an oft-overlooked gem,” Glacier Lodge which is west of Big Pine in the southern Eastern Sierra, off US 395. He visited the previous weekend and found some nice patchy color in the lower elevations and near peak higher up, with more color appearing this week.  He promises to return.

Tip of the Day: a number of canyons lead up into the Eastern Sierra from US 395. These are often lightly visited and full of color.  No, they don’t have the big stands of aspen found in Bishop Creek or at June Lake, but they’re beautiful, nonetheless. And, for So. Calif. color spotters they’re a lot closer to reach.

Glacier Lodge, Big Pine – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Surveyor's Meadow (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Surveyor’s Meadow (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Abhi Bhaskaran

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Abhi Bhaskaran

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

Sabrina Approach (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

Sabrina Approach (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Sabrina Approach (10/6/16) Robert Provin

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Convict Lake, Mono County (10/6/16) Michael Caffey

Bishop Creek is past peak at its upper reaches, though peak color can still be found (conditions permitting) at mid and lower elevations.

Then, there are exceptions like the Sabrina Approach, photographed by Abhi Bhaskaran, Robert Provin and Julie Kirby.

 

Following is a video from Bishop showing what the canyon looked like this past weekend.

Bishop Creek Canyon – Upper Elevations – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Bishop Creek Canyon – Mid Elevations – Near Peak and Peak  GO NOW!

Bishop Creek Canyon – Low Elevations – Patchy (10-50%)

Pine Creek Road (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek Road (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Pine Creek (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Millpond County Park, Inyo County (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Millpond County Park, Inyo County (10/8/16) Gigi deJong

Gigi deJong toured Round Valley, northwest of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra on Friday and found the cottonwood just turning yellow.

Though, there are “some lovely stand in picturesque spots,” with rabbitbrush in full irridescent yellow bloom, complementing the trees perfectly.

Counterpoints include bull rushes along the creeks, an occasional apple tree and “old structures that have lovely patina.”

Farm animals and the Sierra Nevada provide ornamentation that complements the scene and makes it classically a California Fall Color diorama.

She recommends exploring Pine Creek Rd., Round Valley Rd., Horton Creek Campground and Millpond County Park (Inyo County).

Round Valley, Inyo County (northwest of Bishop) – Patchy (10-50%), though well worth a trip.

Color spotter Anthony DeChiaro hiked to the Hilton Lakes on Oct. 6 to find the area denuded of leaves. He admitted he didn’t spend a lot of time searching for color around the lake, but that’s about what we would have expected, considering that the lakes are from 9,800′ to 11,000′ in elevation, and everything abover 9,000′ was reported as past peak the day Anthony headed up to the Hilton Lakes.

Hilton Lakes – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail(10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

 

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Barney Lake (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Robinson Creek Trail (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Leor Pantilat traveled to Mono County yesterday to capture these images on an iPhone.

He reports that the “Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake is at peak and dazzling with mountainsides full of yellow, orange and red contrasting with the rugged peaks surrounding the scene.

“After the short stretch in the pine forest near Twin Lakes, the trail emerges into meadows and the aspen at peak color is virtually unabated for 4 miles all the way to Barney Lake and beyond.

“I was at the same spot at the same time last year and the aspen show is substantially better this year with much less brown rot.

“Leaves were flying off the trees with every breeze so this is definitely a GO NOW! situation.”

He continues, “Strong winds are forecast as early as Thursday will likely end the show.”

Robinson Creek Trail to Barney Lake, Mono County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

June Lake Loop (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

June Lake Loop (10/9/16) Julie Kirby

June Lake should peak this weekend, with color lasting another week.  So, even if the winds strip some trees, enough color should remain along the June Lake Loop to keep it beautiful.

June Lake Loop – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Sonora Pass (10/7/16) Dave Olden

Sonora Pass (10/7/16) Dave Olden

Sonora Pass and Leavitt Meadow are now wearing orange as if they were rooting for the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.  When Dave Olden crossed the pass on Oct. 7, it was just beginning its peak.

Sonora Pass (10/10/16) Leor Pantilat

Sonora Pass (10/9/16) Leor Pantilat

Then, Leor Pantilat happened by on Sunday and found it had donned Giant colors. That’s how fast it peaks. Again, this color might not last out the week.

Sonora Pass – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

CENTRAL COAST

Fremont cottonwood, Rose Valley Road, Ojai (10/6/16) Kevin Rose

Fremont cottonwood, Rose Valley Road, Ojai (10/6/16) Kevin Rose

First Report: Traveling north from Ojai along SR33, color spotter Kevin Rose found a stand of Fremont cottonwood, brushed by refreshing mountain breezes off Rose Valley Road.

The trees were showing patchy color at coordinates 34.5595382 – 119.1654414 along Sespe Creek.

Nearby, several backpackers were gearing up to hike Lion Canyon. Kevin did some of the same hike and declares it hike-worthy!  Turn right off CA-33 on Rose Valley Rd. and follow the parking lot to its bitter end.

This is a nice walk for Central Coast color spotters and earns title as HIKE OF THE WEEK. “Totally worth it!” wrote Rose who followed Rose Valley Road.

Rose Valley Road, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai – Patchy (10-50%)

Poison Oak, Humboldt Redwoods State Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Poison Oak, Humboldt Redwoods State Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

NORTH COAST

Prairie Creek RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Prairie Creek RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Lost Man Creek, Redwood National Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Lost Man Creek, Redwood National Park (10/10/16) Max Forster

Jedediah Smith RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

Jedediah Smith RSP (10/10/16) Max Forster

North Coast color spotter Max Forster happened upon the historically significant Luna tree while looking for color in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

This is the tree that Julia “Butterfly” Hill sat in for two years in protest of logging within the area.  

Humboldt Redwoods State Park – Patchy (10-50%).  Bigleaf maple and poison oak along the Avenue of the Giants have another week until peak yellow and crimson, though examples can be seen when rays of sun light the redwood forest. Look for the poison oak creeping up the trunks of the skyscraper redwoods along Mattole Road.

Redwood National & State Parks – (75%-100%) GO NOW!.  Most of the bigleaf maple are putting on their best show of the season.  Trees along Mill Creek (Jedediah Smith State Park) and Little Lost Man Creek (Redwood National Park) have turned particularly impressive over the last few days.

 

 

 

 

Bishop Creek – Getting Past Peak, But Lots to Enjoy

Thu ,06/10/2016
Groves at Cardinal Village, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Groves at Cardinal Village, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

A lot changed this week which we were unable to report, due to “technical difficulties.” Fundamentally, high areas of the canyon were at peak on Friday, then conditions deteriorated with North Lake – in particular – taking the biggest hit.  Wind stripped the beautiful color on Saturday and it was gone by Sunday.

We weren’t sure, until we’d received confirming reports from several spotters, as some of our very reliable spotters up the canyon were unable to report. Now, I know you all want to know:

Q. “What does this mean for fall color viewing and photography?”

A. Peak color can be seen at many, many areas of Bishop Creek Canyon and throughout the Eastern Sierra. More areas will peak in coming days. So, despite that several favorite areas have peaked, the show isn’t over.  Far from it.

Please be mindful, however, of where it’s peaking and avoid fruitless trips to places where it has already peaked. You missed it, there.

In a nutshell, here’s where to go and where not near Bishop, Calif.

North Lake Road, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

North Lake Road, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

General Conditions – Bishop Creek Canyon

  • Above 9000’ – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!
  • 8,000’ and 9,000’ – Near Peak (50-75%) to Peak (75-100%)
  • 7,000’ to 8,000’ – Patchy (10-50%)

Weir Pond (9,650’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Lake, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Campground Area (9,000’) – Peak ( 75-100%) to Past Peak GO NOW! or YOU MISSED IT!  – The aspen along Hwy 168 are now past peak, however aspen within the campground itself and along the stream are still peaking.

Parchers Resort (9,260’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT! – The canyon walls to the east and west of the resort are now past peak.

Willow Campground (9,000’) – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT! – The campground and the aspen lining the road and the beaver pond are still holding their peak color, though many have peaked.

Table Mountain Camp (8,900’) – Peak to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT! – The mountainside down canyon from the campground is now past peak, though aspen along the creek are peaking.

Surveyors Meadow (8,975’) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Surveyor’s meadow is now a mix of peaking and past peak stands. Give it another week of peak color here.

Lake Sabrina (9,150’) – Peak (75-100%) to Past Peak YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!  

Sabrina Approach, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Approach, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Sabrina Approach (9,100’) – Near Peak (50-75%) – The approach to Sabrina and the small ponds below the dam are peaking.

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

Quaking Aspen, Bishop Creek (10/2/16) Daniel Stas

North Lake (9,255’) – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

North Lake Road – Past Peak YOU MISSED IT!

Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – Absolutely beautiful. This area has a week or two left of peak color.

Aspendell (8,400’) – Patchy (10-50%) Aspendell is often one of the last areas of Bishop Creek Canyon to change.  This area has many stands of lush aspen in it.

Groves above Cardinal Village (8,550’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The canyon slope from above Cardinal Village up to Cardinal Pinnacle is losing its peak color, though areas near the middle fork of Bishop Creek and surrounding Cardinal Village are peaking.

Four Jeffries (8,000’) – Patchy (10 – 50%)  – More yellow is appearing.

Intake II (8,000’) – Near Peak (50-75%) – Lovely right now!

Big Trees Campground (7,800’) – Patchy – (10 – 50%) – Yellow is now showing among the aspen.

Round Valley – Patchy (10-50%) – Gigi deJong reports that the Round Valley, northwest of Bishop, is carpeted with brilliant cadmium yellow rabbitbrush, providing a spectacular scene, particularly in morning light. Cottonwood along Pine Creek are a mix of developing gold and lime.

Full Peak Above 9,000′ – GO NOW!

Fri ,30/09/2016
Sabrina Approach (9/30/16) Kevin Lennox

Sabrina Approach (9/30/16) Kevin Lennox

It’s peaking at the highest elevations in Bishop Creek Canyon (Inyo County) and that has color spotters wondering if autumn is arriving early. Actually, it’s right on time.

It always seems early when areas above 9,000′ in the Eastern Sierra peak in September, but that’s actually quite normal. Lake Sabrina, South Lake and North Lake often peak before October.

Kevin Lennox, a color spotter from Pasadena, was there today and assessed North Lake as Past Peak. Here’s what you’re likely to see this weekend:

Overall Conditions Above 8,500’ – Peak (75-100%) – It’s time to head to Bishop Creek Canyon to see high areas of the canyon at peak. All the highest areas are peaking, some are being reported as approaching Past Peak.

Overall Conditions Between 7,500’ and 8,500’ – Just Starting (0%-10%) to Patchy (10-50%) – Most of the lower canyon is still just starting, though areas between 8,000 and 8,500 are still patchy or just starting at the lowest elevations.

Weir Pond (9,650’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The canyon wall above the pond are peaking with yellow and some orange. Aspen around the pond’s shoreline are now more yellow than lime.

Parchers Resort (9,260’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The canyon walls to the east and west of the resort are brightly painted with yellow, orange and rose, as are many of the aspen on the resort grounds.

Willow Campground (9,000’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – This area has really developed in the past week with yellow filling in. Views up canyon from the campground are beautiful but the campground and the aspen lining the road and the beaver pond are a mix of lime and fresh yellow.

Table Mountain Camp (8,900’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The mountainside just down canyon from the campground is covered with brilliant yellow and a touch of orange. The aspen along the creek are now filling in with lime and yellow.

Surveyors Meadow (8,975’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – Surveyor’s meadow is gorgeous, though there are still many more stands to turn. This area should remain at peak for two weeks (conditions permitting).

Lake Sabrina (9,150’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – Lots of orange color can be seen at the lake along the back slopes that descend to the lake and along the eastern shoreline. The highest color will likely not last another week.

Sabrina Approach (9,100’) – Peak (75-100%) – The approach to Sabrina and the small ponds below the dam are full of bright orange and yellow aspen.

Sabrina Campground Area (9,000’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The aspen along Hwy 168 are going off in a big way right now and are at peak.

North Lake (9,255’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The approach to the lake and the groves on the mountainside above the lake are now at low peak color. More yellow is appearing along the road, though it will be another week to full peak on North Lake Road.

Mist Falls and the groves above Bishop Creek Lodge (8,350’) – Patchy (10-50%) – Yellow is filling in.

Aspendell (8,400’) – Just Starting (0 – 10%) Cold nights have pushed the color, with a lot more yellow appearing in this neighborhood.

Groves above Cardinal Village (8,550’) – Peak ( 75-100%) GO NOW! – The canyon slope from above Cardinal Village up to Cardinal Pinnacle is at peak. More lime and yellow are now showing near the middle fork of Bishop Creek and surrounding Cardinal Village; give it another week for peak color there.

Four Jeffries (8,000’) – Just Starting (0 – 10%) – Still scattered yellow branches.

Intake II (8,000’) – Patchy – (10 – 50%) – Lime and yellow, scrub aspen on the hillside have turned.

Big Trees Campground (7,800’) – Just Starting – (0 – 10%) – Still green

Bishop’s Canyon Glows

Wed ,28/09/2016

West of Bishop, Calif., Bishop Creek Canyon rises above treeline. Autumn color is peaking there now above 9,000′.

Here’s a short video from our friends in Bishop that provides a taste of what they’re now seeing up Bishop Creek Canyon.

Autumn is Events Season

Fri ,02/09/2016
BishopCA-BannerAd-CaFallColor

Bishop Chamber & Visitors Bureau

Tawni Thompson of Bishop reminds us that September and October are prime events months in Inyo County, with history, endurance, cultural, pop, film, sport and fishing faires, festivals, days, races, ralleys and seminars.  

Here are some highlights to combine with a fall color viewing trip.

9/10 – Laws Museum Good Old Days.  Pioneer crafts, demonstrations, live music & pie auction.   www.lawsmuseum.org 

9/9-9/11 – White Mountain Double Century Bike Race.  http://ndzone.com/white-mountain-double/

9/16-9/18 – Millpond Music Festival.  www.inyo.org 

9/23-9/25 – Pabanamanina Pow Wow & California Indian Days 

9/30-10/2 – Fall Colors Car Show, Fine Art Show & Sale, Arts & Crafts Faire and Choo Choo Swap Meet at Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop.  http://www.owensvalleycruisers.com/fallcolors.htm

10/7-10/9 – Lone Pine Film Festival.  http://www.lonepinefilmfestival.org/ 

10/7-10/9 – VCMC Dual Sport Motorcycle Rally.  http://vcmc.info/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=370060&module_id=183046 

10/14-10/16 – Fly Fishing Faire.  Seminars, vendors, fly-tying demonstrations, casting, classroom and on-the-water clinics.  All skill levels welcome!  http://www.bishopvisitor.com/event/bishop-fly-fishing-faire/

10/28-10/30 – Eastern Sierra History Conference.  http://esiaonline.com/eastern-sierra-history-conference/

For travel planning info, CLICK HERE.

 

Scouting Report: Eastern Sierra

Thu ,18/08/2016
Aspen, South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Parcher's Resort (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Parcher’s Resort (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Spots of bright yellow have begun to appear in a few aspen and willows at high elevations in the Eastern Sierra (U.S. 395) from Bishop Creek to Carson Pass (CA-88).

This is normal and does not indicate an early autumn show, though the overall health and robust green color of the aspen forest is encouraging. Conditions permitting, the fall color display in the Eastern Sierra should be as good as ever.

The Eastern Sierra aspen forest is mostly devoid of black leaf spot fungus, as was prevalent in the Northern Sierra last autumn. Though, willows, particularly at higher elevations, are dusted with yellow-orange rust fungus, and some aspen leaves carry nipple galls (small cream-colored bulges that contain insect larvae). The rust and galls will have inconsequential effect on the show, however.

More of a threat to California fall color has been the decline of native lady bugs (replaced by imported foreign varieties), as lady bugs are voracious consumers of aphids which can destroy aspen leaves and their color.

Aphids do not kill aspen, but they do reduce their autumn beauty. An Alpine County resident said she’s noticed a larger than normal number of aphids, as evidenced by the honeydew they drip on cars and deck furniture.

Aspen, Parcher's Resort (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Parcher’s Resort (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Willows, South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Willows, South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

South Lake (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

Mist Falls, Bishop Creek Canyon (8/15/16) John Poimiroo

0-10% – Just Starting – Bishop Creek Canyon and the Owens Valley – At Parcher’s Resort near South Lake, Jared Smith was encouraged by the high lake levels, which will provide brightly colored reflections at South, Sabrina and North Lake.

He reported that bright spots of yellow began appearing this week high up along the east canyon wall and among the willow.

In Bishop, towering cottonwood flanking the Owens River are verdant and seemingly unaware that autumn is approaching.

Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes (8/16/18) John Poimiroo

Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes (8/16/18) John Poimiroo

0-10% – Just Starting – Mammoth Lakes Basin – Similar spots of color are seen in the Lakes Basin at Mammoth Lakes. Mammoth Lakes’ many paved bike paths were full of families out for a ride through green groves of aspen. Mammoth Lakes Tourism is putting heightened emphasis on fall events, activities, festivals, programs and fall color reporting, this year, including locals recommending their favorite fall color hikes and rides. Mammoth Lakes Tourism has dedicated a page on their website to fall with new features and special offers.

June Lake (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

June Lake (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Conway Summit (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Aspen, Conway Summit (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Virginia Lakes Resort (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Virginia Lakes Resort (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Summer berries and lupine, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Summer berries and lupine, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Rabbitbrush, aspen, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

Rabbitbrush, aspen, Virginia Lakes Rd (8/17/16) John Poimiroo

0-10% – Just Starting – June Lake, Conway Summit, Virginia Lakes – No color is yet evident near June Lake or Conway Summit, where aspen are uniformly green. However, up toward Virginia Lakes, the change has started. Carolyn Webb of the Virginia Lakes Resort said “a burn (quick freeze) came through this past week, followed by spots of yellow appearing along the road.”

The color isn’t evident driving to the Virginia Lakes, but it is on the return when leaves are backlit by the sun.

Golden rabbit brush are beginning to bloom beside purple lupine beside the Virginia Lakes Road. For the coming month, the combination of early fall color and late blooming wildflowers can be seen at high elevations in the Eastern Sierra.

0-10% – Just Starting – Walker River and Antelope Valley – At Meadowcliff Lodge, north of Walker, Tim Fesko is still in summer season mode, too busy to notice early emerging fall color, though he is optimistic about the potential for this autumn’s display, noting how much rain and snow fell last winter.

0-10% – Just Starting – Monitor Pass – Hints of yellow are emerging as aspen lose their chlorophyll are seen in groves on the east side of Monitor Pass (CA-89) and beside the upper forks of the Carson River.

Markleeville Creek (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

Markleeville Creek (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

Black cottonwood, Markleeville Creek (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

Black cottonwood, Markleeville Creek (8/17/18) John Poimiroo

0-10% – Just Starting – Markleeville – Black cottonwood at the Markleeville Heritage and Nature Park are dark green, healthy and ready to reveal their golden color.

0-10% – Just Starting – Hope Valley and Carson Pass – Continuing north, the Hope Valley and Carson Pass (CA-88) have a mix of stressed (light green) to robust (dark green) aspen, though overall the forest is doing better. John Brissenden at Sorensen’s Resort near the junction of CA-88 and CA-89, was encouraged by the improved vitality of Hope Valley’s aspen groves.  Again, this area should expect a strong show of color this autumn.

The take away from this scouting trip is that Eastern Sierra deciduous trees and shrubs are healthy, robust and prime for a great show this fall.