Entries by John Poimiroo

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A Colorful Ending

Weather has been kind to fall color this autumn, allowing it to last and last and last, right to its colorful ending. At the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, Sandy Steinman found American smoketree (Continus obovatus) brilliantly toned in crimson, orange, green and yellow; American beautyberries robed in purple, and Japanese maple leaves as confections of […]

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The Southern Forest

California’s southern forest is cultured, bold and manicured. It is not wild. It is civil. This urban forest is found in parks, arboretums, gardens and neighborhood yards. Color spotter Julie Kirby reports a SoCal cold snap (overnight temps in the 40s) moved crepe myrtle near her Glendale home from Patchy to Past Peak within a […]

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Monarch Magic

Late autumn is when Monarch magic happens along the California coast. From Presidio Park in San Diego north to Bodega Dunes in Sonoma County, Monarch butterflies establish their winter residences. Long Beach color spotter Steve Shinn photographed this lady as she emerged from her chrysalis at his home. Monarchs are amazing creatures. Some migrate as […]

Full Beaver Moon

November’s Beaver Moon is the last full moon of August. Last night, it coincided with a prenumbral eclipse of the moon. That’s when the moon passes within the Earth’s shadow. A prenumbral eclipse is not as dramatic as a full eclipse of the sun, as the moon only gets a little darker as it passes […]

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Valley of the Moon

Jack London loved the Sonoma Valley. He called it the Valley of the Moon. It’s where London planned his dream home, Wolf House, which burned to the ground days before the great outdoor adventure novelist was to occupy it in 1913. The ruins remain on Sonoma Mountain, above Glen Ellen where Jack London State Historic […]

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All The Leaves Are Brown

Even a four-point buck can’t find fall color to use as cover in the Shasta Cascade. As, to quote a song I heard somewhere, “All the leaves are brown.” Robert Kermen headed north for Thanksgiving Day, sending back these images of the vestiges of fall color in northeast California. Shasta Cascade — Past Peak, You […]

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Maidenhair

Gingko biloba trees are survivors. They survived the Permian–Triassic extinction event 250 million years ago, during which 90% of marine species and 70% of land species died, then flourished during the early Jurassic period, spreading worldwide. The division of Ginkgophyta began declining during the Cretaceous geologic time period and by two million years ago, all […]

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Empire Strikes Back

As he vowed this week, color spotter Steve Arita returned to Empire Mine State Historic Park, to see if Maple Lane (his name for the path of maples leading to Empire Cottage) was finally at full peak. For padawans who haven’t had the chance to visit this extra-beautiful terrestrial location, Steve wrote, “Maple Lane is […]

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Seagulls Overhead, Look Up!

It’s not usually a good idea to look up when seagulls are overhead, but I did that at Nimbus Flat (Folsom Lake SRA) and caught them swirling and singing above peak valley oak. Several thousand seagulls have been spending late autumn on Lake Natomas (formed by Nimbus Dam on the American River in Folsom) on […]