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Lassen Volcanic Runs With Red

Knotweed, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Knotweed, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Lassen Volcanic National Park’s hills run with red knotweed in late summer.

Shanda Ochs, a guide at the national park (which is located east of Redding and that commemorated its 100th anniversary on August 9) reports “The Park is seeing some fall color at 7,000′ and higher elevations.”

Because this national park has a volcanic landscape, much of it is austere, though bright color pops on autumn days… particularly along its hillsides and in its meadows where cadmium-yellow rabbitbrush, crimson knotweed, white pearly everlastings and golden and rust-colored grasses are seen peaking in the waning days of summer and early autumn.

The rabbitbrush, pearly everlastings and knotweed peak are about past peaking.  Technically, they are late blooming wild flowers rather than true “autumn color.” Though because of their timing, we classify them as fall color.

California Trivia: Did you know that California has a seven-month spring? That’s because wildflowers bloom in California from March to September. It’s all because of our wide range of elevations, from sea level to over 14,000′. That’s the same reason California can claim the longest and most diverse autumn on Earth.

Lassen’s show continues with a variety of willows, some quaking aspen and alder appearing, particularly around Manzanita Lake.

Autumn meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Autumn meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Knotweed, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Knotweed, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Autumn meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Autumn meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park (9/16/16) Shanda Ochs

Here are the park’s autumn centennial events:

  • Sat., Sept. 17 – Art & Wine of Lassen  | 11 am – 4 pm | Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center – Celebrate local art, wine, and music at Lassen. Returning for its seventh year, this popular event featuring local businesses is held at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Taste wine from local vineyards, sample products from regional entrepreneurs, and enjoy music from local artists. Tasting fee includes a commemorative glass.
  • Sat., Sept. 24 – Public Lands Day of Stewardship Projects (Centennial event)  | September 24 | Park-wide – Enjoy free park entrance in celebration of Public Lands Day and give back to the national park by participating in a service day in the park.

This day also kicks off the National Park Service Centennial PhotoBlitz on National Public Lands. CLICK HERE for more about entering your photos in the contest.

  • Klamath Network Parks Exhibition (Centennial event) | September 30 –January 2, 2017 | Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding – Northern California and southern Oregon are home to seven national parks. A standing autumn and early winter exhibit at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding lets museum visitors “tour” them all. What an easy way to learn about the park, while also visiting Redding’s amazing Sundial Bridge, designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava.

GO NOW! Peak (75-100%) – Lassen Volcanic National Park – ground cover plants (knotweed, rabbitbrush, meadow grasses).

Just Starting (0-10%) – Lassen Volcanic National Park – Alder, quaking aspen, cottonwood and willows.

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San Bernardino Mountains Near Peak

Mountain Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Exotic Silver Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Fremont Cottonwood (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Fremont Cottonwood (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Japanese Maple (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Maple, Green Valley Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Color spotter Nick Barnhart traveled up to the San Bernardino Mountains this past weekend and got these colorful shots of fall color at Lake Gregory, Green Valley Lake and Big Bear Lake.

San Bernardino Mountains (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

San Bernardino Mountains (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Rabbitbrush and cottonwoods (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Rabbitbrush and cottonwoods (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

GO NOW! Near Peak (50 – 75%) – San Bernardino National Forest – A mix of black oak, mountain maple, rabbitbrush and aspen are delicately coloring Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

Mountain Maple, Big Bear Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Silver Maple, Green Valley Lake (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

GO NOW! Peak (75 – 100%) – Big Bear Lake – Christine, a color spotter visited the famous aspen grove near Big Bear and repots it is peaking.  This is probably the last weekend to see it in its glory.

Lake Gregory (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Lake Gregory (10/5/14) Nick Barnhart

Patchy (10 – 50%) – Lake Gregory and Lake Arrowhead – Only about 25% of the trees are showing color.

 

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Hop on Over to the East Side

Rabbitbrush at Seven Pines (9/20/12) Dennis Vance

Rabbitbrush at Seven Pines (9/20/12) Dennis Vance

California Rose (9/20/12) Dennis Vance

New life emerges from 2007 fire damage (9/20/12) Dennis Vance

A contrast in fall colors (9/20/12) Dennis Vance

One of the beautiful colors to be seen now is the brilliant yellow to gold of rabbitbrush (chrysothamnus).  This shrub blankets the high dessert and alpine reaches of the Eastern Sierra with bold color.  Color spotter Dennis Vance sends these photos of rabbitbrush and native rose hips.

50 – 75% – Seven Pines – West of Independence on the Onion Valley Road (6,440′), the rabbitbrush is “exploding in solid yellow,” Vance reports.  Adjacent Independence Creek is displaying bright red hips of the California Rose (rosa californica) and a hint of pale yellow, rising from the dark ashes of a 2007 fire that devastated this foothill area beneath Kearsarge Peak.