Entries by John Poimiroo


88 is Near 50

Highway 88 is still Patchy but approaching 50% of peak color, as seen in Philip Reedy’s photos of color along the Carson Pass. The route was busy with traffic this weekend because US 50 (a few miles north) was closed due to road construction. So, 88 was the only semi-direct route to South Lake Tahoe. […]


Mano á Mono

With Inyo National Forest closed (at least until Oct. 1), the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in northern Mono County is the place to see peak fall color now through this coming week. One of our color spotters, Bruce Wendler, visited the Virginia Lakes, but found the trees ringing Little Virginia Lake to be blown out. However, […]

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California Poplar

California poplar, better-known as black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera spp. trichocarpa), are often confused with Frémont cottonwood (Populus fremontii spp. fremontii). It’s easy to mistake these siblings from a distance, as their size, bark, shape and colorations are similar, but look closely at their leaves and the difference is evident. Black cottonwood have a darker, spear-pointed […]



In the aftermath of the Hog Fire, which straddled State Route 44 northeast of Lassen Volcanic National Park, there is both life and death. Shasta Cascade color spotter Gabriel Leete traveled the route on his way to a baby shower for his daughter and noted that though the smoke was nearly absent in the morning, […]


Lovely Lobdell

Though he’d had his heart set on visiting Bishop Creek Canyon, with Inyo National Forest closed, Reno color spotter Clayton Peoples took our advice instead and drove south on US 395 to Lobdell Lakes in northern Mono County. He was not disappointed. We have learned that some of the most spectacular fall color is seen […]


Backyard Beauty

Quarantined by the Covid-19 pandemic and noxious wildfire smoke, Steve Shinn found beauty in his Long Beach backyard. Autumn is the season of harvest and often overlooked are fruiting trees, like persimmon, apples and pomegranates which brighten farm trails and urban gardens. Many of the fruit trees attract birds, which adds to the autumn show. […]


Hope Arrives

There are moments when an image arrives that changes perspective. One of those moments occurred Wednesday, when Philip Reedy sent this picture of an aspen leaf from the Hope Valley. The leaf embodies the transition from summer to fall in an unexpected way. Aspen leaves are not just yellow. California’s are yellow, gamboge, lurid, limey, […]


Willows and Woodpeckers

Early fall is the time to combine woodpecker watching with fall color spotting in San Diego County, Mark Hanning-Lee reports. Near the Paso Picacho Campground this week, Acorn Woodpeckers were busy hammering storage holes for their winter store of acorns, while county byways were blushing with rosy shrubs and lighting up with yellow willows. San […]


Martis Mystery

There’s a mystery occurring along Martis Creek (CA-267) between Kings Beach and Truckee. Aspen that populate the meadow, near the remnants of an old cabin, are deceivingly orange. From a distance, they appear to be peaking, but they’re not. They’re diseased. This meadow is visited often, mostly because of the cabin. It’s a popular place […]


Plumas Preview

Some years back, Plumas County had a great ambassador, Suzi Brakken, who made sure her county wasn’t forgotten when it came to fall color. Suzi would struggle, however, with the fact that CaliforniaFallColor.com would be reporting peak color on radio and TV in late September when Plumas’ Peak was still weeks away. Today, Mark Atkinson […]