Entries by John Poimiroo


In The Middle of it All

Angel Island is in the middle of it all. The largest island in San Francisco Bay, Angel island isn’t thought of as having much fall color, though it is loaded with native plants, many of which are winter deciduous. Frémont cottonwood, western sycamore, black and blue elderberry, bigleaf maple, box elder, valley oak, red and […]

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Always on Time

A good railroad always arrives and departs on time. The same can be said of fall color at the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad in Felton (Santa Cruz Mountains), where bigleaf maple, western sycamore and black oak dress its historical train depot with yellow, chartreuse, lime and orange each November. This past […]

Flowers and Fruit

The Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo, is one of a few ornamental trees that carry both flowers and fruit in autumn. The exotic evergreen is native to the western Mediterranean and produces a sweet, fragile fruit used in jams, folk medicines (astringent, diuretic, urinary anti-septic, antiseptic, intoxicant, rheumatism, tonic, and to relieve hypertension and diabetes) and […]


Ventana Wilderness

The Ventana Wilderness along the Central Coast is peaking with warm orange and yellow flashes. Color spotter Leor Pantilat found valley oak, black cottonwood, bigleaf maple and grasses to be providing the color, with Western sycamore estimated to peak later this month. The Ventana Wilderness is known for its steep, sharply crested ridges and deep […]


Above Ground

Hard rock gold miners didn’t have much opportunity to enjoy the beauty of autumn. They spent most of their day underground. However, at Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley the gold to be found today is all above ground. Steve Arita visited this past weekend and found the mine’s surrounding forests to be […]


Danville Delights

Osage Station Park in Danville was so named for the Osage orange orchard that was once tended, there. Three of the original planted osage oranges (hedge apples) still grow in the park. Their odd, knobby, spider-repelling fruit turn fluorescent green in fall. Though, it is the park’s grove of towering maple trees and their golden […]

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Orange Orange

It’s rare, extremely so, to receive a report from Orange County. In the eleven years that CaliforniaFallColor.com has existed, Orange County has been mentioned in only three of over 1,000 fall color reports. So, when Mark Hanning-Lee sent these snaps of Goodding’s black willow at Peters Canyon Regional Park in Orange, I did a double […]


Napa: Another Week of Peak

This is probably the last week of peak fall color in the Napa Valley. Mike Caffey was there on Saturday (Nov. 9) and captured vineyards carrying beautiful loads of orange, red and yellow leaves, as well as many others that were past peak. Of course, vineyards turn by grape variety. My visits to Sierra Foothill […]


Retreat to Idyllwild

Idyllwild has long been a favorite Southern California retreat. The San Jacinto mountain town is surrounded by scenic terrain that invites hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and awe. Mark Hanning-Lee hiked the Ernie Maxwell Trail and explored the area last week, showing black oak, manzanita and Frémont cottonwood at peak. By now, the areas he […]


It’s Nuts Along The Midway

Walnut orchards are carrying Near Peak to Peak color along Midway Rd. between Durham and Chico. For those who can get there, the coming week and a half will be beautiful in the Chico area. Best bets: Midway Rd., Chico Seed Orchard, Downtown Chico, the Esplanade (Chico’s famous boulevard), Chico State University campus and Bidwell […]