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Gone With The Wind

Western Sycamore, Malibu Creek SP (11/22/21) Kathy Jonokuchi

The Santa Anas are strong, downslope winds that flow out of the Great Basin toward Southern California in autumn. They’re fearsome, in that they often feed raging wildfires that incinerate dry areas of Southern California’s mountain ranges. This year, they scoured leaves from the branches of deciduous trees throughout the Santa Monica Mountains.

Southern California color spotter and naturalist Kathy Jonokuchi visited a favorite location, Malibu Creek State Park, where the forest appears Patchy with only a quarter of the trees still carrying their leaves.

The park was previously used for on-location filming of M*A*S*H the popular TV comedy about a Korean War mobile surgery unit. Once part of 20th Century Fox’s Movie Ranch, the location continues to appear in motion pictures and TV productions. However, Gone With The Wind was not filmed within the boundaries of the state park, although a scene in which Gerald walks with Scarlet was shot nearby at Malibu Lake.

Kathy did not visit Malibu Creek SP to study film history, but to study its trees and birds. She wanted to see how Western Sycamore have fared since the Woolsey Fire, four years ago, and found a grove that were spared the flames and are flourishing.

That’s good news for the Nanday Conure, naturalized parrots, which feed off sycamore seed pods during autumn. And, once the trees lose their leaves, it’s easier to see the conures. During her visit, Kathy noticed the appearance of ash on the ground, but realized it was the fluffy seeds of cattail rushes, blown to the ground by the Santa Anas. The seeds will propagate in marshy  areas, a benefit of the Santa Anas which are otherwise thought of as a Southern California inconvenience.

  • Malibu Creek State Park, Santa Monica Mountains .91 – 2,739′) – Patchy (10 – 50%)
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California Sun Shines on LA County

The California Sun loves California Fall Color, as we do it.

California Sun editor Mike McPhate reminded readers of the beauty to be found at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden – which we suggest as a perfect destination on Orange Friday (the day following Thanksgiving Day) – much better’n a mall.

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Ready for Turkey Day

Turkey Tail fungi, tropical forest, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

These turkeys won’t be consumed on Thanksgiving Day, even though the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens will be open.

Frank McDonough shares these plates of autumn color in preparation for our national day of thanks and fellowship.

Horse chestnuts, Meadowbrook, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

Garden of Quiet Reflection, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

Pecan, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pomegranate and Japanese Maple, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

Meyberg Falls, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

Late turning Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pomegranate, Queen Anne Cottage, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

Horse chestnut, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This tree … rocks, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/18/21) Frank McDonough

  • LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (482′) – Patchy (10 – 50%)

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A Slow Boil

California grape, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Peak develops like a slow boil in Los Angeles County. After it has come and gone elsewhere in California, it begins to bubble down south.

Presently, peak is 20 to 30% at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia,  reports Frank McDonough.

Freeman’s maple, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Western redbud, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

American elm, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black walnut, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Cotoneaster and chocolate persimmon, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Chocolate persimmon, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Japanese maple, blooming Oregon grape (r), LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese maple, blooming Oregon grape (r), LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Cotoneaster and chocolate persimmon, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese pistache (sarah’s radiance), LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (11/16/21) Frank McDonough

Among the more colorful specimens to enjoy are confetti-like Western redbud, fluorescent Chinese pistache, American elm that drip with gold, tawny chocolate persimmon and red hot California grape.

  • LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (482′) – Patchy (10 – 50%)

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Evolution

Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis (Sunbust [l], Rhus aromatica [r], LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is evolving. A week ago, it was just starting. Now it’s just … Patchy.

Walkers and photographers visited the day Frank McDonough took these pics. The Arboretum is a late November peak and it appears to be progressing toward that. It’s a bellweather for other arboretums in Southern California. So, plan your visits based on what you see here and if you’re trying to decide on the right tree or foliage to add fall color to your garden, this month is the time to visit them.

Liriodendron tulipfera, Meadowbrook Section, LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

Acer fremanii (Jeffers Red), LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

Baldwin Lake, LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carya ovata(Shagbark hickory), LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle, LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

Acer freemanii (Jeffers Red), Event Lawn, LA County Arboretum (11/5/21) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden (482′) – Patchy (10 – 50%)

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San Gabriel Glory

The San Gabriel Mountains surrounding Jackson Lake are near full glory, reports Gary Skipper.

Black oak, San Gabriel Mountains (10/23/21) Gary Skipper

Gary explored paths around the lake and past campgrounds finding the color to be vibrant and the weather inviting.

He found a particularly illuminated tree in Wrightwood, where desert Joshua Trees live beside Fremont cottonwood and was thrilled to encounter foxes, squirrels, chipmunks and deer out enjoying the autumn sun.

  • San Gabriel Mountains (5,900’) – Near Peak (50 – 75%), Go Now.

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Blazing in LA County

Blaze Autumn, Freeman’s maple, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (10/20/21) Frank McDonough

When our anchor leg runner starts stripping sweats, we know the end of autumn lies ahead. And, California Fall Color’s anchor runner is LA County.

No more beautiful place in LA County to see diverse and vivid autumn color is found than at its Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia.

So, when the Arboretum’s doyen of autumn sent his first photo today, I thought, “What! Already?”

It was received earlier than expected, though Frank McDonough’s selection was not unexpected. This year’s early dresser, like the Hollywood star it is, likes to upstage all the other trees and plants at the Arboretum. Blaze Autumn, a Freeman’s maple loves to put on the Ritz in bold crimson and brash orange. If Blaze was a Hollywood celebrity walking a red carpet, the carpet would look up in envy.

Other plants at the Arboretum pretend to be as colorful as Blaze, but they never compare … at least as far as upstaging goes.

  • The LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (482′) – Just Starting (0 – 10%)
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Azusa Splash

San Gabriel River, Azusa (1/12/21) Steve Shinn

Steve Shinn was exploring the San Gabriel River this past week when to his surprise a splash of remnant peak color brightened the stream above Azusa. He returned to Long Beach finding Anna’s hummingbirds also brightening his yard.

Anna’s hummingbird, Long Beach (1/13/21) Steve Shinn
  • San Gabriel River – Past Peak, You Missed It.
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Something to Crow About

Peacock, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (12/10.20) Frank McDonough

When you are the last beautiful entry in a glorious parade, you have something to strut and crow about.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is that last entry. December is its peak. However, fall color has begun to rain upon the parade, as Past Peak approaches.

Throughout the arboretum, once-gloriously-colored trees are dropping their leaves. There is still beauty to be seen, for sure, but it is nearing its end.

Sarah’s Radiance Chinese pistache and gingko biloba retain the most color. Though, winter bloomers, such as South African red aloe, the happy trills of songbirds and sharp calls of peacocks are accenting the entertainment.

  • LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (171′) – Peak to Past Peak, GO NOW, You Almost Missed It.
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One Left

Malibu Creek State Park (12/2/20) Elliot McGucken

One, lone, peaking sycamore remained at Malibu Creek State Park when Elliot McGucken – moved by its forlorn solitude – memorialized these last days of autumn, proving – as Philip Reedy demonstrated in the previous post – that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Malibu Creek State Park (450′) – Past Peak, You Missed It.