Posts

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Cascade Trail to Spanish Creek

Bigleaf Maple, Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Plumas County color spotter Michael Beatley hiked the Cascade Trail beside Spanish Creek toward Quincy, yesterday, discovering one beautiful reflection after another.

He wrote, “The area has a profusion of color and reflections, with Indian Rhubarb, Bigleaf maple, black oak and grasses providing the color.”

Spanish Creek is along the trail to the Cascades. It runs into the North Fork of the Feather River, which continues down to the Sacramento River and the Delta.

Michael advises that mornings (9 to 10 a.m.) are best for light and reflection photographs at Spanish Creek.

Daytime temperatures are in the 60s with nights in the 20s to 30s, blue skies and a lot of clear, rushing water and still blue lakes.

Plumas County has been spared the haze caused by this autumn’s wildfires.  So, skies are blue, windless and smokeless.

Spanish Creek, Plumas County (2,000′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

Spanish Creek (10/14/17) Michael Beatley

 

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Wonder-Filled Plumas

Indian Rhubarb and riparian grass, Rock Creek (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Indian rhubarb (10/87/17) Michael Beatley

When the Indian Rhubarb start to burn orange, red, yellow and green in Plumas County, there are few more striking places to be to see fall color in California than along one of its streams.

Michael Beatley captures the start of this beauty in these closeups from along Rock Creek, downstream from Meadow Camp in Meadow Valley.

Plumas County is the northernmost end of the Sierra in the vast Shasta Cascade region of California, and during autumn, it is wonder-filled.

Indian rhubarb, black oak and bigleaf maple are the predominant sources of fall color.

Though, exotic trees planted in its towns mix with the native color to create dramatic showy scenes, like that of the exotic maple planted behind the Plumas Superior Courthouse in Quincy, contrasted with a native maple seen along Big Creek road.

Eastern maple, Plumas Superior Courthouse, Quincy (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Bigleaf maple, Big Creek Rd., Plumas County (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

Plumas County Color spotter Michael Beatley drove to Thompson Lake (First Report), just above Bucks Lake, on the road to the dam and just off the road near 5 p.m.

Beatley called it the “Perfect time, no wind and aspen peaking at 5,600′.

What!? Peaking aspen at 5,600′ when they haven’t peaked above 9,000′ at some locations in the Eastern Sierra? What gives?

This continues to be one of the earliest autumn peaks for the Northern Sierra and one of the latest for the Eastern Sierra.

Thompson Lake, Plumas County (10/8/17) Michael Beatley

 

 

 

 

 

Superior Court Judge Alan Theiler Memorial Maple, Quincy (10/10/17) Michael Beatley

Thompson Ranch Maple, La Porte Rd., Quincy (10/10/17) Michael Beatley

Quincy (3,432′) –  Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Plumas County – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

 

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Round Valley: Bigleaf Maple Go Big

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Canyon (9/27/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Reporting from Plumas County, color spotter Jeff Luke Titcomb found bigleaf maple and dogwood showing Near Peak color in areas of Round Valley Canyon.

Round Valley Canyon (4,692′), Plumas County – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Dogwood (9/27/17) Jeff Luke Titcomb

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Train Spotting Meets Color Spotting

Black oak, Keddie Wye, Plumas County (11/7/16) Dennis Hayes

Black oak, Clear Creek Trestle, Plumas County (11/4/16) Dennis Hayes

Railfans consider the Keddie Wye to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Western Pacific Railroad World.

It is a railroad junction in the form of a “wye” on the Union Pacific Railroad in Plumas County at the town of Keddie.  The wye joins the east-west Feather River Route with a branch line (the “Inside Gateway”) north to Bieber. What makes the wye so attractive is that locomotives and their trains traveling across it provide photogenic subjects for train spotters.

Though, at this time of year, orange-colored peaking black oak in the forest near the wye are just as attractive to color spotters, as Dennis Hayes demonstrates in his vibrant photograph of the Clear Creek trestle taken on Hwy 70/89 over Spanish Creek, about 1/3-mile northeast of the Keddie Wye.

Keddie Wye, Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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High 82°/Low 38°
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High 72°/Low 37°
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Peak of the Week: Indian Creek

Black Oak, Indian Valley, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black Oak, Indian Valley, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek, Plumas County (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Rhubarb, Indian Creek (10/26/16) Jeff Titcomb

Indian Creek in Plumas County (Northern Sierra) is painted with color with Indian rhubarb at full brilliance, dogwood and bigleaf maple showing pink and yellow and black oak beginning to turn bright orange.

Indian Creek, Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Glorious Indian Rhubarb Near Quincy

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp, Quincy (10/20/16) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek

Spanish Creek

Bold splashes of harlequin colored Indian rhubarb (Darmera peltata) brighten Spanish Creek at Oakland Recreation Camp near Quincy, as captured by local color spotter Mike Nello with his Samsung CSC.

This is the first weekend to see peak color in Plumas County. The best way to find fall color is to use the California Fall Color map on this site and go to those areas showing Near Peak to Peak color.

Exploring Plumas County’s backroads in the Shasta Cascade region never disappoints.

Spanish Creek at Spanish Camp, Quincy – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Greenville… No Longer Green

Black oak, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black oak, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Near Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Near Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood approaching Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood approaching Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Black oak and bigleaf maple, Indian Creek, (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood and bigleaf maple, Indian Creek, (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Dogwood, Round Valley Reservoir, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Hideaway Road, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Hideaway Road, Greenville (10/16/16) Jeff Titcomb

Greenville in the Northern Sierra of Plumas County is hardly living up to its name any longer, as fall color is accenting the town with auburn, crimson, pink, hot orange, umber, yellow, buff and lime splashes.

There are so many bright colors to be seen that, for the next three weeks, we propose that Greenville be renamed, “Crayolaville.”

Color spotter Jeff Luke Titcomb traveled Plumas County’s byways to return with these images of what’s happening up north.

He found dogwood, bigleaf maple and black oak providing the predominant colors and reports, “The valley is dropping leaves but the canyon roads are beautiful and holding strong.

“Oaks and dogwoods still have time for color change, the big leaf maples are at full color now.”

Give Greenville three weeks of awesome color.

Greenville, Plumas County – Near Peak (50-100%) GO NOW!

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High 72°/Low 40°
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High 77°/Low 38°
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High 66°/Low 40°
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Plumas County Comes Out to Play

Dogwood, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

Dogwood, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

So much attention is given to the Eastern Sierra at the start of each autumn, that Plumas County must feel like the last kid picked to play. But, when Plumas County eventually steps up, it plays big.

At the northern end of the Sierra Nevada, and part of Califoria’s vast Shasta Cascade tourism region, Plumas County is a major leaguer in its own right.

Bigleaf maple, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

Bigleaf maple, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

Indian Rhubarb, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

Indian Rhubarb, Plumas County (10/5/16) Mike Nellor

The Eastern Sierra has quaking aspen and, well, cottonwood and willows.  But Plumas? It’s got aspen, bigleaf maple, cottonwood, black oak, dogwood, willow, alder and gloriously showy Indian rhubarb.

The Eastern Sierra presents grand landscapes, while Plumas has rural charm… white steepled churches embraced by deep orange oaks, barns sitting in a sea of color and those rhubarb draped over the edges and reflected in still streams.

Mike Nellor, a local photographer and color spotter reports that the show is just emerging in Plumas County, with its capital city, Quincy now coloring up at nearby Oakland Camp and the rhubarb, as reported last week, are turning firey orange-red.

Plumas is in the game and out to play.

Plumas County – Patchy (10-50%)

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High 74°/Low 43°
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High 76°/Low 39°
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High 76°/Low 41°
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Partly Cloudy
High 66°/Low 42°

Indian Rhubarb Begins Its Firey-Orange Show

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Sharon Roberts of the St. Bernard Lodge (10 mi. west of Chester/Lake Almanor) reports that the Indian Rhubarb (Darmera peltata) – also known as the umbrella plant – have begun their showy fall display of firey orange beside Deer Creek in the Shasta Cascade.

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Indian Rhubarb, Deer Creek, CA-32 (9/25/16) Sharon Roberts

Deer Creek runs beside portions of CA-32, approximately 50 miles east of Chico. Enter the “Alder Creek Campground” in your nav device to find it. At elevation 3,900′, Deer Creek is 20 miles west of Chester.

Along its banks the fan-leaved plant turns bright orange-red at peak in early October. Presently the color is at the low end of Patchy, though examples of brilliant color can be found.

They provide dramatic contrast to nearby yellow bigleaf maple and orange black oak. Indian rhubarb is one of California’s most colorful and distinctive autumn plants and its most beautiful populations are found in Tehama and Plumas Counties.

Continuing northeast on CA-32, the road intersects CA-36. Turn left and you’re about ten miles from Lassen Volcanic National Park with its crimson knot weed, gold-orange Lemmon’s willow, yellow alder and golden cottonwood.

Turn right and you travel toward Chester.  If you pass through Chester and continue east, you reach Susanville where colorful foliage grows beside the Susan River.

Turn south along the west shore of Lake Almanor (before reaching Chester) and you head toward the Indian Valley and Quincy, prime color viewing areas in the northern Sierra Nevada.

For more about planning a visit to the area, CLICK HERE and to camp at Alder Creek, CLICK HERE, and to stay at St. Bernard Lodge, CLICK HERE.

Alder Creek Campground, CA-32 (3,900′) – Patchy (10-50%) 

 

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How Big is Big?

Bigleaf maple, Indian Creek (11/4/15) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Indian Creek (11/4/15) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Indian Creek (11/4/15) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Indian Creek (11/4/15) Jeff Luke Titcomb

When it comes to California bigleaf maple, how Big is big?

Jeff Luke Titcomb reports that bigleaf maple leaves along Indian Creek in Plumas County are as big as “8” wide and equally as long.”

The big leaves are still bright yellow along creeks and river bottoms near Greenville.

Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – Indian Creek, Plumas County