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Squirrels Strip California Black Walnuts

California Black Walnut and Fox Squirrel, Bel Air  (9/3/18) Peter Asco

California Black Walnut, Bel Air (9/3/18) Peter Asco

Early in September, along Southern California’s coast, squirrels begin stripping “the sparse but beautiful native California Black Walnut (juglans californica) of their walnuts, Peter Asco reports. They “take full advantage of this crop, stripping the trees of every single walnut in a period of two weeks.”

Exploring “one of BelAir’s undisturbed canyons within the Santa Monica Mountains,” Peter came upon this rarely-shot autumn scene and scored a first report by photographing fall color up Bel Air’s wild canyons. 

Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) – California Black Walnut, Santa Monica Mountains, Bel Air.

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The Tail End

Willows, Alabama Hills, Eastern Sierra (1/1/18) Bruce Wendler

Fall color is still being glimpsed around California as the tail end of autumn’s show lingers.

Bruce Wendler found willows glowing yellow-orange at the intersection of Movie Road and Whitney Portal Road and commented that “Some of the Primrose Brush and Reeds turn a little red in the winter, so don’t give up on color in January.”

Willows, Turtle Pond, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Tabeuia impetiginosa, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Anita Baldwin Statue, Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Willows are also providing bright color in Arcadia at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. A broad variety of willows grow throughout California, providing the state’s longest display of fall color.

The show has been so long-lasting that willows, gingko biloba and wax trees (Toxicodendron succadeneum – a variety of poison sumac – look but don’t touch) are still holding color while, nearby, pink trumpet trees (Tabueia impetiginosa) are heavy with winter blooms.

If you are dead set on finding fall color in winter, the best opportunities to see it are in locations at the lowest elevations (deserts, islands) and where exotic varieties can be found (arboretums). Otherwise, the show is now mostly past peak.

 

 

 

LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Toxicodendron succedaneum, San Gabriel Mountains, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baldwin Lake, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloes and Nuxia tree, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, Herb garden, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloe Trail, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incandescent dusk, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (1/4/18) Frank McDonough

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Parade of Roses and Autumn

Tournament of Roses, Pasadena (1/1/18) Frank McDonough

Tournament of Roses, Pasadena (1/1/18) Frank McDonough

Each New Year’s Day, the world marvels at the amazing floral floats made for the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena.

What often isn’t seen in the worldwide coverage of the parade is the lingering fall color to be seen along the streets of Pasadena.

Los Angeles County color spotter Frank McDonough captured some of it and shares it with us.

Pasadena – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

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Happy New Year!

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

Frank McDonough’s photograph of tiles at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden reminds us of the festive color to explode on New Year Eve and makes us look forward to 2018 and the end of 2017.

This past year was filled with tragedy for many. Wildfires, hurricanes, floods and heartache delivered by the worst side of humanity made it so.

Even on the fall color front, the show was disappointing, but not so the photographs taken by those tracking fall color across California.

Frank’s images of everlasting gingko biloba at the LA County Arboretum provide hope for a new year of everlasting color, joy and good things.

Happy New Year.

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Gingko, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

Bamboo, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingko, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingko, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingko, LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

LA County Arboretum (12/26/17) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the north near Durham, Ferruginous hawks are in search of squirrels out gathering nuts among the orchards and the last spots of fall color (berries still clinging to Dogwood branches) are seen in these images captured by Robert Kermen.

Ferruginous Hawk, Durham (12/29/17) Robert Kermen

Gray Squirrel, Durham (12/29/17) Robert Kermen

Dogwood, Durham (12/29/17) Robert Kermen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central Valley – Past Peak – You Missed It.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

Oakland color spotter Darrell Sano, who holds the distinction of being the first and last to post on this site in 2017, sent these closing shots of peak color seen in at Mountain View Cemetery in the Oakland Hills.

Darrell writes that, “The balmy weather we’ve been experiencing around the bay area led to many people enjoying the afternoon scenery–walking, jogging, groups of people having conversations, dogs happily being walked, and of course families paying respects to loved ones. It’s an extremely serene and introspective place. Walking the hills always makes me think about time, and the passage of it. No better appropriate place to be in the last weekend of the year. And the colors persist into 2018!”

Oakland – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland (12/29/17) Darrell Sano

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Holiday Herbage

Aloes and Sticks on Fire, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Southern California color spotter Frank McDonough sends this postcard of colorful holiday herbage from the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia where fall color (now winter color, I suppose) is lighting up the season.

Though succulents are not fall color, their forms make for fascinating photographs.

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Arcadia – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Wild California grape, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Nandina and Crepe myrtle, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Aloe, S. African Section, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Chinese pistache, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle’s last color, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Nuxia tree, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Bauer Lawn,  LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

California sycamore, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Old soul aloe, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Collumner euphorbia, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Aeonium, Canary Island Section, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

Orchids, Tropical greenhouse walk, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/23/17) Frank McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Season Peak

Hahamonga Watershed Park, Pasadena (12/21/17) Naresh Satyan

It’s now official. California’s fall color has now appeared in three seasons in 2017: summer, autumn and winter.

Color spotter Naresh Satyan did not let the first day of winter deter him from sending this shot of peak color seen this morning among willows in Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena, where river bed is still dressed in various stages of fall, er, um, well winter color.

He reports, “Unfortunately wind has been stripping leaves fairly quickly, but it still looks like Fall down here!”

Pasadena – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

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Awesome Aloe

Tree and multi-stem Aloes, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Aloe is known to many as the miracle lotion found in hand and body creams to soften and repair skin, but to horticulturists, its a genus of flowering succulent that blossoms at the end of autumn.

There are 500 species of aloe. True aloe (Aloe vera) is the most well-known of them, though there’s also: French, bitter, flat-flowered, tilt-headed, soap and Zimbabwe among the many types of tree and brushy aloes. The name of the last of these gives you an idea from where they originated… from Africa to Greece along the Mediterranean Sea.

Reporting from the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Frank McDonough says the aloe there are primed to peak during Christmas week, though they’re already colorful (the Arboretum will be closed on Christmas Day).

Aloe blooms are yellow, orange, pink and red with their large reservoir-like leaves storing water captured in winter for drier summer months.

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Anne Cottage, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Elsewhere at the LA County Arboretum, colored lights provided holiday cheer with trees changing color this past Saturday evening. Such special events for nighttime photography are noted on the arboretum’s calendar. Several gardens hold similar events during the holidays, including Descanso Gardens.

A curtain of gingko leaves, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba persist in their long-lasting fall display at the LA County Arboretum with curtains of their bright yellow leaves heavily draped from branches. Elsewhere, liquidambar and pomegranates are still carrying color right to the last day of autumn (Dec. 20).

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Snowball viburnum, backgrounded by showy gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Pomegranate at entrance, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Chinese pistache, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingkos and steles, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Liquidambar attracting attention, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko and Liquidambar, Crescent Garden, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

A curtain of gingko leaves, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

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Fire in the Sky

Wildfire smoke at dusk, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

A wildfire sunset, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

When smoke from wildfires colors the western horizon, as is happening – tragically – in Ventura County, sunsets intensify and glow in ways both foreboding and inspiring.

Yesterday, color spotter Frank McDonough lingered ’til after dusk at the LA County Arboretum in Arcadia to capture these impressions of such fire in the sky.

During daytime, the smoke from Southern California’s wildfires is hardly noticeable, as California’s bluer than blue sky is now only lightly brushed with haze. At the Arboretum, autumn sunlight warms scenes of people strolling through the gardens. Fall color continues at the LA County Arboretum, which holds title as one of California’s last locations to see peaking fall color.

LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

Path near Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

Kallam Garden, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

Tropical Forest entrance, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

Amaranthus, Crescent Garden, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/15/17) Frank McDonough

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LA County Fall Color Survives

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Fall color continues to peak at points throughout Los Angeles County, despite smoke and fire that has ravaged Southern California’s coastal mountains.

Frank McDonough reminds us of the beauty and blue skies being seen in Arcadia at the LA County Arboretum and Gardens, noting that while many trees are now past peak, others are still short of peak.

LA County – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Nandina domestica, red maple; LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Trichocereus cactus, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Acacia, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Red oak, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Chinese tallow, Siberian elm, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

Crepe myrtle, LA County Arboretum, Arcadia (12/9/17) Frank McDonough

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LA County Owns December

Viburnum, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (11/28/17) Frank McDonough

Cotoneaster carry late autumn berries, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (11/28/17) Frank McDonough

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia owns December.

Over recent years, California Fall Color has consistently received reports and photographs of autumn foliage from this arboretum between mid November and mid December, but it is early December when fall color there is most beautiful.

That is largely consistent among coastal arboretums and botanic gardens, including the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, Descanso Gardens, Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Balboa Park Botanical Garden and Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden. Though, not all feature as broad a range of varieties with fall color.

At the LA County Arboretum, Frank McDonough, its Botanical Information Specialist and one of our perennial color spotters, will be leading a Fall Foliage Walking Tour of the LA County Arboretum on Saturday, Dec. 2. He worries, however, that this year’s fall color is “way late.” Warm temperatures and dry skies have kept the color from developing, as seen in his photos of cotoneaster and crepe myrtle.

Crepe myrtle show patchy color, LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (11/28/17) Frank McDonough

Frank, who has recorded the beauty of autumn there for years, will be speaking about what triggers the change among the broad mix of foliage to be enjoyed at the LA County Arboretum, including: gingko biloba, fishtail gingko, Eastern white oak, horse chestnut, Japanese maple, Japanese lacquer trees, Daimyo oak, crepe myrtle, sweet gum (liquidambar), sour gum, red maple, Eastern redbud, American elm, Chinese tallow, Chinese parasol trees, Chinese pistache, birch, pomegranate, cotoneaster, California fan palm, tulip trees, sticks on fire, pin oak, Chinaberry, Jerusalem thorn, blaze maple, horned maple, California wild grape, flame leaf sumac and California fan palms.

So, as December arrives, peak color does as well, though this autumn it is late in appearing at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia.

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Arcadia – Patchy