We’re Off and Running!

We’ve got lots of reports today, so with the first day of Autumn tomorrow, we’re officially off and running.

Jared Smith reports first from Inyo County that, “Things are really progressing quickly in the canyon with nearly all of the aspens and willows above 8500ft beginning to show at least some lime green or some yellow. Very little happening below that elevation.We still have a ways to go before most of the canyon is in full color but its remarkable how fast things are changing. Even if you were here today there would be some great shots availailable and it’s just going to get better from here on out.”  Here’s his report:

Wier Pond (9/21/11) © 2011 Jared Smith

15-30% – Weir Pond (9,592 ft) – Still have another week or so before the Weir really goes off but the groves above the pond are already showing some bright yellows and the grass and willows are a beautiful golden hue.

15-30% – Parchers Camp (9,260 ft) – The hills to the south, west and east are beginning to show some color, especially near the spring to the east. Not at peak but beginning to look pretty good.

0-15% – North Lake (9,255 ft) – I was surprised to see such little change between last week and this week with the big grove on the far side of the lake showing pretty much zero color. There is some bright yellow trees along the paved section of road before the lake but that is about it. The dirt road along the lake continues to lighten to a beautiful lime green but little to no yellow yet.

15-30% – Lake Sabrina (9,150 ft) – Unlike North Lake, Lake Sabrina has seen some substantial color change over the past week with groves on the east shore especially showing hints of yellow and even a few aspens turning orange. We’re still a ways away from peak here but it’s nice to see some color starting at one of the most beautiful lakes in the Sierra.

Sabrina Camp Grove (9/21/11) © 2011 Jared Smith

30-50% – Sabrina Camp Groves (9,000 ft) – As usual, the groves below Sabrina campground are way ahead of most of the trees in the canyon with lots of yellow, red and orange happening already.

15-30% – Surveyor’s Meadow – Lots of lime green and yellow developing but this area will get a whole lot better in the coming week or two if the weather holds out.

0-15% – Aspendell (8,500 ft) – No color developing here, yet.

Cardinal Mine Grove (9/21/11) © 2011 Jared Smith

15-30% – Cardinal Mine Grove (8,700 ft) –Lots of  lime green with some yellow making an appearance this week.

0 – 15% – Table Mountain Campground (8,900 ft) – Not much color but the aspens have lightened up a lot. Look for this area to light up within the next week.

15 – 30% – Mountain Glen Campground – Yellow is beginning to show in many of the aspen in this area – should be a great spot to photograph within the next week, if not sooner.

 0 – 15% – The Famous Mist Falls on South Fork Bishop Creek – Still a week or two off from much color at this location.

 0 – 15% – Four Jeffrey Camp Groves – Fall color in this area is always a late arrival – its going to be a few weeks at least before we see this area light up.

15-30% – Willow Camp (9,065 ft) – The willows are turning gold and the aspens have joined the party. It really is amazing how fast things are changing between Willow campground and the Tyee Bridge. Some of the trees that were dark green a week ago are now bright yellow.

15-30% – South Lake (9,768 ft) – Many of the trees on the back side of the lake are displaying gorgeous color and it’s getting better by the day. The rock slide area and boiler cove aren’t really showing much color but as fast as things

changed in the back of the lake I would expect that to be different in a few more days.

Convict Lake (9/22/11) © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

0-15% – Rock Creek – Mono County color spotter Alicia Vennos reports it’s been “bloody hot here!”  That’s great for fall color and for fall color watching, as warm days and cool nights are what’s needed for colors to intensify.  Certain species in Mono County have turned entirely… with elm trees near Walker being reported having turned.  We’ve noticed individual trees can change earlier than others, even species may change sooner, so this isn’t out of the ordinary.  Mostly, Mono County is following the normal pattern, with the higher elevations in the Eastern Sierra showing first.

Convict Lake Resort - Just the Slightest Color (9/22/11) © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

0-15% – Convict Lake –Jennifer Heintzelman of the Convict Lake Resort reports willows are beginning to show signs of color, though their color is barely apparent in the great photos she sent, today.  Jen promises to send news of specials they’re providing to leaf peepers and photographers, which we’ll publish here.

Convict Lake - Early Color (9/22/11) © 2011 Jennifer Heintzelman

Goose Berries, Plumas County (9/21/11) © 2011 Richard McCutcheon

0-15% – Plumas County – Color spotter Richard McCutcheon send us this gorgeous photo of goose berries and reminds us to look not only up to the branches, but down  to the brush.  Richard says the only thing that’s turned so far in Plumas County are vines and berries… non-native Virginia Creeper, he notes, are always the first to turn.  They can be found on garden fences in Quincy.  Though Richard also reports, “As you are looking for fall colors, you run into some great mushrooms.”  The one shown here was 10 inches in diameter.

One Big Mushroom, Plumas County (9/21/11) © 2011 Richard McCutcheon

0-15% – Shasta Cascade – Continue reading below for yesterday’s report from the Shasta Cascade.



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