Giving Thanks and Looking Back at 2020

On this Thanksgiving Day, is thankful to the 85 color spotters who contributed reports, photographs and videos in 2020.

They include (from first leaf): Sandy Steinman, Philip Reedy, Cathy Kennedy, Mohammed Delwar, Michael Beatley, Michelle Pontoni, Jeff Simpson, Gary Young, Mark Atkinson, Clayton Peoples, Mark Hanning-Lee, Steve Shinn, Gabriel Leete, Bruce Wendler, Lance Pifer, Shanda Ochs, Trent Vierra, Jennifer Miyara, Tania Junes, Barry Calfee, Steve Arita, Austin Grove, Julie Kirby, Alicia Vennos, Elliot McGucken, Eugene Obermuller, Alena Nicholas, Laxman Murugesh, James Wei, Lisa Wilkerson-Willis, Robert Kermen, Lucas Yan, Huy Tran, Kristine LiVecchi, Don Vilfer, Jan Arendtsz, Jared Smith, Mike Caffey, Soyoung Kim, Robert Hardy, Robert Bernstein, Jeff Luke Titcomb, Lyle Gordon, Steve McCarthy, Pranav Mehta, Kent Gordon, Crys Black, Barbara Biela, Doug Van Kirk, Steve Nipps, Peter Asco, Hunter Irvin, Marc Crumpler, Bob Inman, Phil Farrell, Ryan Boyd,, Frank McDonough, Adarsh Dattani, Todd Backman, Janet Fullwood, Mark Harding, Vishal Mishra, Laura Christman, Jeri Rangel, Ruth Hartman, Leor Panilat, David Sharp, Ken Lock, Nhi Casey, Chardonnay McPherson, Walt Gabler, Sam Reeves, Kris Koeberer, Zack Stanton, Erika Guerra, Rene Yampolsky, Max Forster, Ariana Kimes, David Laurence Sharp, Anson Davalos, Shyann Shackleford, Jeff Brown, Ken Robesky, Gary Skipper II, Blanca Walker and Ron Tyler, who produced the above video. If, somehow, we missed you, please know it wasn’t intentional. We are truly indebted to every contributor.

Special thanks are expressed to Inyo County Tourism, Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Mono County Tourism, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association for underwriting California Fall Color, and to the many reporters and media who carried our reports and gave attention to what we have shown about California’s fall color.

Of course, this list is incomplete without mentioning my wife, Joan, who has driven the car and pulled it to the shoulder so that I could jump out to photograph particularly beautiful locations; humored my recording of color percentages, species and elevations; pointed out spectacular color; and tolerated my exuberance in showing her countless stunning photographs taken by our contributors.

Our deepest thanks go to the well over one hundred thousand occasions in which our readers opened, read, followed, reacted and commented here and on our social media pages. 

You are, after all, the reason we do this.

Above is our video impression of autumn in California for this past year. Fall color was beautiful everywhere, though we were often frustrated by not being able to cover places inaccessible because of the Covid-19 pandemic or forest closures due to wildfires and smoke. Most important to us, of course, was your safety, so purposefully withheld photographs and reports on areas which lands agencies asked not be shown out of concern the beauty would drive people into dangerous situations or overtax their resources.

In many cases, color spotters reported this to be the most beautiful autumn in memory. That was particularly said about North Lake (Bishop Creek Canyon), the Hope Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley and Indian Valley (Plumas County). The photographs selected for this year’s video represent: what happened this autumn (including some that show haze), the extent and diversity of fall color across the state, and some of the finest photography of 2020.

If you would like your photographs considered for inclusion in next autumn’s video, we recommend that you submit “horizontal,” high resolution (300dpi), not-watermarked photographs. Pictures taken in places not often photographed have an advantage in getting selected, as competition is stiffest among pictures taken at popularly photographed destinations.

Autumn doesn’t end today. It continues for nearly a month longer. We’ll continue to post photos and reports, as received. Though today, we begin to dial back reports and will post them less frequently. We’ve also stopped sending  weekly reports to meteorologists, travel and outdoor writers.

So, enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and plan an Orange Friday of fall color spotting, tomorrow.

See you next autumn, dude.

California – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! – In our hearts, California is always peaking.

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