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All The Leaves Are Down

All the leaves are down
And the sky’s not gray
I’ve been for a walk
On an autumn day
I’d be seeing Patchy
If I was in L.A.

California dreamin’
On such a late fall day …

 — apologies to The Mamas and the Papas

Michael Beatley walked past a church on his hike to Boyle Ravine in Quincy yesterday morning, if he passed Community United Methodist along the way.

Boyle Ravine (First Report) provides outdoor learning for students at nearby Quincy Elementary School (What a great idea. Every school oughta have outdoor learning nearby). It’s at the end of Coburn St. and has been newly added to the California Fall Color map.

There, you’ll find the faded glory of bigleaf maple, Pacific dogwood, black oak, alder, fern, violas, cedar, pine and fir trees along the forest trail.Looks like we’ll have to do some California dreamin’ about visiting it next autumn. 

  • Boyle Ravine, Quincy (3,342′) – Past Peak, YOU MISSED IT.
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Dressed For Halloween

Nelson Creek Bridge, Feather River, CA-70 (10/27/18) Crys Black

Hot Springs Ravine, Feather River, CA-70 (10/27/18) Crys Black

Rock Creek Reservoir, Feather River, CA-70 (10/27/18) Crys Black

Belden, Feather River, CA-70 (10/27/18) Crys Black

Black oak growing in Plumas County’s Feather River Canyon are dressed for Halloween wearing their brightest orange and black.

Color spotter Crys Black, “saw some of the best, most consistent color of the season,” on a Saturday drive from Marysville by heading east on the Quincy/La Porte Rd up into the Northern Sierra through Strawberry Valley (First Report) where fall color was “amazing.”

“Quincy was still really pretty although seems like it won’t last much longer,” and noted, “We loved how everyone was dressed for the big Halloween party.” It wasn’t just the trees that were dressed for Halloween.

On her return drive to Oroville via CA-70, the Feather River Canyon was at peak with “constant color.” 

  • Strawberry Valley – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Quincy – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!
  • Spanish Creek – – Peak to Past Peak, YOU ALMOST MISSED IT!
  • Feather River Canyon – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
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One Fine Day

Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Plumas County Veterans Memorial, Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Plumas County Superior Court, Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Yesterday was one fine day in Quincy.

I got there about noon, and it was beautiful. I could see, however, that it would get better later that day. Regretably, I had a schedule to keep that didn’t involve lingering to see it.

Michael Beatley didn’t have the same restriction and got there in the late afternoon, to capture Quincy at its best.

Plumas County’s fall color is everywhere you drive, right now. It rolls over ridges and down hillsides in avalanches of muted orange, auburn and yellow.

Along highways that wind through Plumas National Forest, sparkling splashes of lemony yellow and deep gold appear at every turn.

Black oak are an emerging blend of evolving green, yellow and orange leaves.

Country villages like Greenville virtually glow from towering, iridescent-yellow Fremont cottonwood and pop with spots of hot red.

As for Quincy, I was lucky to be there on one fine day (my photos will appear in a separate post).

Sky-scraping crimson, orange, electric yellow and lime foliage crowned the town’s skyline on approach. Once in Quincy, the color was everywhere. Though, the Thieler Tree, Quincy’s famous sugar maple, had just passed Peak. Its red and orange leaves had curled and were sprinkled like confetti at the corner of Lee Way and West High St.

Peak color will continue to be seen through this week, but will weaken slowly throughout town as more leaves fall.

Plumas County, on the other hand, has two more weeks of peak, conditions permitting. 

  • Quincy – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
  • Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Plumas County Superior Court, Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Plumas County Superior Court, Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courthouse Park, Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

Quincy (10/21/18) Michael Beatley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Feather River Hot Springs (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

Plumas County Superior Court Annex, Quincy (10/21/18) John Poimiroo

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Plumose Plumas

Community United Methodist Church, Quincy (10/20/18) Michael Beatley

Quincy (10/19/18)Ravi Ranganathan

Plumas County is absolutely beatific.

Peak fall color is brightening all its byways and Quincy, the county seat, has never looked better.

Michael Beatley, Phillip Reedy and Ravi Ranganathan have been working the byways, backroads and city streets of Quincy to show Plumas and its environs at plumose perfection.

Beatley describes Quincy as “gorgeous right now. Beautiful peak with blue skies, daytime temps low 70s, nights 25-32 degrees. The wonderful thing about Quincy, is that all its downtown power lines were buried years ago. No telephone poles. The whole town is full of beautiful foliage.”

To get this fabulous light, he was up at dawn to shoot historic Plumas Superior Courthouse and Community United Methodist Church bathed in color so angelic, it makes me want to genuflect.

Ravi began his photo safari in Quincy, but then traveled to Oakland Camp where “the rhubarbs were mirrored gloriously along Spanish Creek.”

Oakland Camp, Feather River (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

The highlight of Ravi’s Plumas County fall color excursion was a hike along the Cascades Trail “with beautiful colors all along. I hiked ’til I came upon a couple of wooden bridges. Looking down, the view of the stream was amazing with the fall colors reflected with gold.” (First Report)

Ravi’s fall color expedition included stops at Thompson Lake, Bucks Lake and Big Creek Road, all “filled with aspen, oak and maple. He had used CaliforniaFallColor.com to research the places he wanted to photograph and gave a nod of thanks to Michael Beatley and Jeff Luke Titcomb for additional guidance and inspiration.

What Ravi accomplished in capturing in a short amount of time was nothing short of astonishing, hitting a number of Plumas highlights.

Plumas County Superior Courthouse, Quincy (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Plumas County Superior Courthouse, Quincy (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Similar to Ranganathan’s photo tour, Reedy began in Quincy, then toured through the Lakes Basin and down Hwy 49 to Downieville along the north fork of the Yuba.

Phil said “Quincy looks lovely, although the maples at the courthouse still have a bit to go to reach full color. Perhaps another week will do it.” That’s good news for anyone reading this, as there’s a week to get there and still see it at peak, though as Ravi’s photographs show, aspen at Thompson Lake are dropping color.

One of the reasons Plumas County is such a great fall color destination is that a variety of trees show at one elevation in successive displays over about three weeks: first pink dogwood, then yellow aspen, then golden bigleaf maple, then multicolored exotics, and finally orange black oak.

Reedy said CA-70 from Quincy to Graeagle is showing “a lot of oaks at Peak color right now and very pretty. There are some aspens in the Lakes Basin area, but nothing too exciting when compared to areas like Hope Valley.”

Yuba River, Sierra City (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Salmon Creek, Sierra City (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Yuba River, Downieville (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Black oak, Quincy to Graeagle (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Black oak, Quincy to Graeagle (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

Sardine Lake (10/19/18) Phillip Reedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He continued, between 5,000 and 6,000′ along CA-49 east of Sierra City, “the aspens are definitely at peak or a bit beyond. Downstream between Sierra City and Downieville there are nice colors from big leaf maples, but I would guess another week will be needed to fully develop the colors.” 

  • Plumas County – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

Big Creek Rd., Plumas County (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Big Creek Rd., Plumas County (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Big Creek Rd., Plumas County (10/20/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Road to Buck’s Lake (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Thompson Lake, Plumas County (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Bucks Meadow, Plumas County (10/20/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Oakland Camp, Feather River (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Oakland Camp, Feather River (10/19/18) Ravi Ranganathan

Quincy (10/19/18)Ravi Ranganathan

Quincy (10/19/18)Ravi Ranganathan

Keddie Wye, (10/19/18) Plumas County Ravi Ranganathan

Sugar maple, (10/19/18) Thompson Ranch, Ravi Ranganathan

Plumas County Superior Courthouse, Quincy (10/20/18) Michael Beatley

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Ordered To Appear

Sugar maple, Thompson Ranch, LaPorte Rd., Quincy (10/14/18) Michael Beatley

The Thieler Tree, Quincy (10/14/18) Michael Beatley

You are hereby ordered to appear at the Plumas County Courthouse in Quincy to attest that trees surrounding the court are Near Peak.

Now that you have been duly served, what can you expect to see?

Towering maple, plane trees and elm, anytime from now through this weekend and the following week, depending on conditions. The trees will be glorious, carrying heavy loads of orange, red and lime.

Local color spotters Michael Beatley and Jeff Luke Titcomb report that Quincy’s most photographed maple, The Theiler Tree at the former residence of Judge Alan Theiler, is red-hot and not-to-be-missed. It’s on West High Street and Lee Way, behind the courthouse.

Other great spots to photograph in and surrounding Quincy, include Community United Methodist Church at 282 Jackson St. This white steepled church is backed by black oak, when at peak (it’s still early) are deep orange (seen below in the UpStateCA graphic).

Plumas County Courthouse, Quincy (10/14/18) Michael Beatley

Plumas County Courthouse, Quincy (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Spanish Creek at Oakland Camp (10/14/18) Michael Beatley

Thompson Lake, near Bucks Lake, Plumas County (10/15/18) Michael Beatley

Along LaPorte Rd. look for Thompson Ranch and its landmark sugar maple, which is now peaking. In fact all the sugar maples in town are a rich orange-cream color.

The Indian rhubarb at Spanish Creek in Oakland camp are now peaking at 3,500′, so get there quick to see their bright red-orange umbrella-shaped leaves reflected in the creek’s still waters.

More reflections of aspen are seen at Thompson Lake west of Quincy near Buck’s Lake.

Jeff Luke Titcomb said most of Plumas County’s fall color backroads can be driven in a normal passenger vehicle. To prove it, he sent a photo of his classic Cadillac DeVille that he drove on a spotting trip to Round Valley.

He described, “The road away from Almanor is gravel and well maintained. Some days, though, you’ll be sharing it with logging trucks. The color down in the ravines is full of dogwoods and the springs are running pretty strong with lots of yellow maples, the oaks are coming on too, now. You will need to stop and explore the canyon’s full of color, which is getting very strong now.”

Be sure to appear by your appointed court date and time (not to late in the day), or you could miss Peak color in and around Quincy. 

  • Quincy (3,432′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

Dogwood, Plumas County (10/13/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, Plumas County (10/13/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple and willow, Plumas County (10/13/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Plumas County Courthouse  (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Quincy, Plumas County (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Quincy, Plumas County (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar maple, Quincy, Plumas County (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar maple, Quincy, Plumas County (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar maple, Plumas County (10/13/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Black oak, Plumas County (10/13/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Plumas County Courthouse  (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Quincy, Plumas County (10/14/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

 

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Sweet As Can Be

Sugar maple, Hideaway Rd., Greenville (10/12/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar maple, Hideaway Rd., Greenville (10/12/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar maples (Acer saccharum) are sweet to the eye. Perhaps that’s why so many were planted in Plumas County.

This particular specimen sugars the scenery along Hideaway Rd. in Greenville.

Leaves of the sugar maple can evolve in color through a full spectrum from dark green to lime, to yellow-green, to yellow, to yellow-orange, to orange, red and burgundy, during autumn.

Though numerous of the exotic trees have been planted in Quincy, Greenville and other Plumas County towns (Northern Sierra), none seem to have naturalized, leading a UC Davis botanist, with whom we consulted, to conclude that planting one is not likely to interfere with the growth of native trees. 

Sugar Maples, Plumas County (3,586′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW! 

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Poppin’ on the LaPorte Rd.

Bigleaf maple, La Porte Rd. (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, La Porte Rd. (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Dogwood, LaPorte Rd. (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Sugar Maple, Quincy (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

The LaPorte Road in Plumas County, leading from Quincy, forms a boulevard of deciduous trees that in Mid-October compares to any in California for its beauty.

Jeff Luke Titcomb drove it on Sunday, finding native bigleaf maple Near Peak. The sugar maple are close to peaking, as well.

Though sugar maples are an exotic specie, so many specimen have been planted in Quincy’s parks and gardens, that they can be confused as being native.

Dogwood are lagging the maples in this part of the Northern Sierra, though evolving through lime, rose, pink and vermillion.

The coming two weeks will be Near Peak in this region.

To the east on the Trinity River near Strawhouse Resort, California wild grape, bigleaf maple and ornamental trees are near peak. 

  • LaPorte Rd – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!
  • Trinity River – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Maple, Quincy (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

Bigleaf maple, La Porte Rd. (10/7/18) Jeff Luke Titcomb

California wild grape, Trinity River (10/6/18) Paul Kim

 

Red maple, Strawhouse Resort, Trinity River (10/8/18) Julia Ellis

 

 

Indian rhubarb, Trinity River (10/6/18) Julia Ellis

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Quincy

Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

Downtown Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

Quincy is a town where its trees are as big as its people.

This Northern Sierra gold rush town (established as Elizabethtown in 1852) was soon bustling after a 28-ounce gold nugget was discovered. Several rich mining claims followed. The town (named after John Quincy Adams) grew to 2,500, before silver strikes at Virginia City, Nevada lured miners away.

Today, just 1,728 souls live there. The quiet country nature of Quincy is evident in Shelley Hunter’s snaps, in which towering trees shade lightly traveled streets and neighborhoods.

Fall color is now Patchy in Quincy with peak typically occurring in mid October. Of particular beauty, and it itself worth the trip to Quincy, are landmark sugar maples and sycamore that grow on the grounds of the Plumas County Courthouse. Another prized autumn photograph is Community United Methodist Church on Jackson St. when it is embraced in fall color. 

Quincy (3,432′) – Patchy (10-50%)  

 

 

Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

County Courthouse, Quincy (9/27/18) Shelley Hunter

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Feather River Canyon Gold

Belden (9/26/18) Shelley Hunter

Belden (9/26/18) Shelley Hunter

Twain Store and RV Park, Twain (9/26/18) Shelley Hunter

Feather Bed Inn, Quincy (9/26/18) Shelley Hunter

The American River became world famous in 1848 after word spread of the discovery of gold at Coloma. However, it was just one of many rivers that drop out of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade and Klamath ranges where gold was found.

A strike by California pioneer John Bidwell on July 4, 1848 on a bar along the middle fork of the Feather River made him over $1 million richer (in today’s dollars), giving Bidwell another reason to celebrate on that Independence Day. News of his strike thereafter attracted thousands for “easy pickin’s” along the Feather, late into the 1800s.

Soon, miners were exploring the Feather River Canyon from Chico to Chester, often establishing short-lived towns along the way. Similar boom and bust stories happened over all of northern and eastern California.

Today, many of the gold rush towns the miners established remain as small resorts, remote mountain communities and surviving relics of the era.

Shelley Hunter, owner of the Quincy Feather Bed Inn – a peaceful retreat canopied by beauty in autumn, responded to a call we’d made asking for photographs of her area of Plumas County (Northern Sierra) with images of Just Starting bigleaf maple and black oak.

Feather River Canyon fall color is still two weeks away from Near Peak, though individual specimens and Indian Rhubarb along the upper banks of the Feather River are Near Peak.

She also sent views of Belden (CA-70), the Twain Store and RV Park with its collection of gold rush themed structures and the Feather River Canyon, whose gold discoveries brought thousands to this northern corner of the Sierra in the 1800s.

Feather River

Upper Fall River (9/27/18) Martha Fletcher

Indian Rhubarb, Trinity River (9/27/18) Julia Ellis

Along the Upper Fall River, Martha Fletcher found ornamental trees providing color at Spinner Fall Lodge, evidence that, even in the woods, exotic plants find our Mediterranean climate inviting.

Elsewhere in the Shasta Cascade, Indian Rhubarb, darmera, are turning orange red beside the Trinity River. 

 

 

 

 

Quincy (3,432′) – Just Starting (0-10%)

Belden (2,221′) – Just Starting (0-10%)

Twain (2,858′) – Just Starting (0-10%)

Feather River Canyon – Just Starting (0-10%)

Fall River – Just Starting (0-10%)

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More Photographic Perspectives

Black oak, bigleaf maple, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Fridays are a quiet day to catch up on posting photographs that arrived too late to be included in a timely fall color report. The first selection is of photographs taken by Laura Jean near Hayfork along CA-3, two weeks ago.

The color seen in these images has long since fallen, though her shots provide perspective about what it was like to drive the Trinity Heritage Scenic Byway in late October. Click on photo to enlarge.

Hayfork, Trinity Heritage Scenic Byway (CA-3) – Past Peak – You Missed It.

Bigleaf maple, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Bigleaf maple, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Dogwood, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Black oak, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black oak, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

California ash, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Bigleaf maple, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

Dogwood, Hayfork (10/21/17) Laura Jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, here is a selection of images contributed by Dona Montuori-Whitaker in mid October. They arrived too late to be posted in a timely fashion, but are now in order to show additional views of Plumas County.

What is particularly striking about the Shasta Cascade region are the number of old wooden bridges, barns and cabins that have aged beautifully and contrast so emotionally with fall color.

Plumas County – Past Peak – You Missed It.

Maple, Quincy (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

Genesee Valley (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

Indian rhubarb, Keddie (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

Long Valley Creek Bridge, Sloat (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shed, Indian Falls (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

Taylorsville School (10/16/17) Dona Montuori-Whitaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fallen maple, cottonwood and dogwood leaves, Yosemite National Park (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

As reported here on the day Tracy Zhou took these photos, peak color has shifted from bigleaf maple, dogwood and cottonwood to black oak in Yosemite National Park.

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou

Black oak, Yosemite Valley (11/1/17) Tracy Zhou