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Giving Thanks and Looking Back at 2021


On this Thanksgiving Day, CaliforniaFallColor.com is thankful to the 95 color spotters who contributed reports, photographs and videos in 2021.

They include (from first leaf): Philip Reedy, Jeff Simpson, Jeff Luke Titcomb, Clayton Peoples, Gary Young, Michael Beatley, Michelle Pontoni, Julie Kirby, Steve Arita, Vishal Mishra, Bruce Wendler, Kathy Jonokuchi, Jen Miyara, Mark Harding, Gabriel Leete, Sarah Wollock, Jim Van Matre, Soyoung Kim, Robert Kermen, John Ehrenfeld, Woody Elliott, Angie Plaisted, Don Vilfer, Mark Hanning-Lee, Alicia Vennos, Lucas Yan, Liz Grans, Jeff Hemming, Michael Tolchard, Elliot McGucken, Mike Caffey, Ryan Boyd, Emo Gyetvai, Austin Grove, James Haase, Walt Gabler, Jan Arendtsz, Jeremy Johnson, Morgan Terrell, Anusha Ravioo, Pierre Redmond, Frank McDonough, Bill McFall, David Sharp, Bob Simms, Gabby Tobar Balcunas, Gary Skipper II, Anson Davalos, Jason Branz, Max Forster, Liliana Beatley, Shanda Ochs, Parrish Todd, Jeri Rangel, Peter Robbins, Bin Lin, Adarsh Dattani, Lyle Gordon, Anish Sidhan, Gene Miller, Jason Francisco, Travel Crazy Katie, Mariana Dillingham, Wilderness Amani, Sweet Me Life, M&J, Golden Island Walks, Jobille Tuts, Bella’s Grandma, Nao Tharp (Sky Rock Media), Julia Jia Rao, Life of Fernandos, Farmer Omni, Natural Priyanka Vlogs, Bob Bong Travels, Sonoma Shorts, Jon Lenvik, Our & My Memories, SmithsGold, The Mads of San Diego, Biprajt Dutt, NBCLA, Strangers Abroad, Eastern Sierra Now, Kiran Kumar, Pete A, Robert Olsson, Hieu Nguyen, Modern Mangai, Happenin, Omni Nova, Rahi’s Wall, Wilderness Wanderers, Peter Mikuljan, Life after Halftime 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 and Mammoth Lakes Tourism 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 not complete without mentioning Joan, my bride of 51 years. She has pulled the car 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 our readers who on over one hundred thousand occasions opened, read, followed, reacted to 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 across California in 2021. Fall began hesitantly, with the Dixie and Caldor fires burning huge areas of fall color in the Northern and Western Sierra. The fires eventually receded and after skies were clear of haze luster returned to the forests. A drought delayed the salmon run, then a bomb cyclone deluged the mountains reinvigorating streams and waterfalls. The dusting of snow from that event provided dramatic contrast just as leaves were at peak. Not as many locations were photographed this year – perhaps because of forest closures and lingering smoke. Though those that were submitted were beautiful.

The photographs selected for this year’s video represent: what happened (including a couple that show the impact of fires), the diversity of fall color across the state, and some of the finest photography of 2021. This was a notable year for Yosemite Valley, as evidenced by the many exceptional photographs taken there this autumn. Gorgeous color was also seen in the Eastern Sierra.

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, within a week of having captured them. 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 dial back reports and will post them less frequently. We’ve also stopped sending  weekly updates 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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