Posts

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What Matters Most

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

So what if:

  • It’s your daughter’s wedding.
  • You have 50-yard-line tickets to the big game.
  • Your big retirement dinner happens Saturday and everyone will be there.
  • After flirting for months, you finally got asked out by the hot barista at the coffee shop.
  • The Nobel Prize committee just called and would like to meet you on Sunday.
  • It’s your tenth wedding anniversary and you have tickets to Paris.
  • Your doctor called and you’re finally scheduled for open-heart surgery.

Don’t get tunnel vision (unless it’s what you see, above).

All that matters is that fall color surrounding Mammoth Lakes in Mono County is peaking and that’s EPIC! 

Cancel all plans and GO NOW! Here’s why:

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Gull Lake, June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

June Lake Loop (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Beaver Ponds, Lundy Canyon (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Beaver Ponds, Lundy Canyon (10/18/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

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Ducky at Silver Lake

Mallard ducks, Silver Lake, June Lake Loop (10/14/18) Jeff Simpson/Mono Lake Tourism

A mating pair of Mallard Ducks enjoyed a rest from their southbound migration Saturday at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop where fall color is Near Peak. Now, isn’t that just ducky? 

  • Silver Lake (7,200′) – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!
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Good To Go

Thumbs Up for Autumn, Rock Creek (9/13/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Rock Creek Lake (9/13/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Rock Creek (9/13/18) Josh Wray/Mammoth Lakes Tourism

Reports from the Eastern Sierra indicate that autumn color is good to go up the canyons with peak color starting to appear near 10,000′.

It happens quickly in late September, as days shorten and temperatures drop. So, be prepared for possible Near Peak at high elevations there, by the first day of autumn.

Josh Wray, of Mammoth Lakes, drove south to Rock Creek (southern Mono County) to capture what was happening up the canyon, and though it was still Just Starting for most of the canyon, more than enough Near Peak color could be seen along the Hilton Lake Trail at 10,300′.

Aspen, Silver Lake (9/3/18) Cindy Hoover

Willow, Silver Lake (8/31/18) Cindy Hoover

Color spotter Cindy Hoover explored the June/Mono Lake region of Mono County earlier in the week, reporting that Silver Lake is where early color is visible with willows full of gold and singled-out aspen branches bright yellow, while the rest of the trees remain green, but noticeably lighter than a few weeks ago.

Near Mono Lake, Cindy was wowed by a spectacular display of rabbit brush, carpeting the high plains toward a pink-orange sunset.

Krisdina Karady of Parcher’s Resort on the South Fork of Bishop Creek reported that color is still Just Starting, with some aspen branches carrying golden color, but most of the trees remain dark green to lime. A complete report is expected this coming week. 

Near Peak (50-75%) – Hilton Lakes Trail (10,300′)

Just Starting (0-10%) – Rock Creek (9,500′)

Just Starting (0-10%) – June Lake Loop (7,654′)

Just Starting (0-10%) – Mono Lake, South Tufa (6,378′)

Just Starting (0-10%) – Bishop Creek Canyon (Parcher’s Resort – 9,260′)

Rabbit Brush, Mono Lake S Tufa (9/6/18) Cindy Hoover

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Silver Lake Silver Moment

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop (10/20/17) Shreenivasan Manievannan

In the Sierra, some of the best times to take a photograph are during or immediately following a storm.

Ansel Adams taught us this with his iconic image of Yosemite Valley, taken from Tunnel View, following a clearing winter storm.

Silver Lake, on the June Lake Loop, similarly delivers many magical moments.  Here’s one taken on Friday as a storm cleared.

Silver Lake, June Lake Loop – Peak (75-100%) GO NOW!

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Golden Hour and Fall Photography

Silver Lake sunrise, Mono County (10/14/17) Jennifer Franklin

McGee Creek day’s end, Mono County (10/14/17) Jennifer Franklin

Photographers are both story-tellers and artists, as these photographs by Jennifer Franklin show.

There is a moodiness to each image, caused by the early or late afternoon light and by the shutter speed she chose for the latter, which accentuates both motion and emotion.

Jennifer (@msnightfall) stopped at Silver Lake (June Lake Loop) at sunrise on Saturday, and ended the day in McGee Creek Canyon in the late afternoon.

Photographers call the hour shortly after sunrise or before sunset, “the golden hour,” because then, sunlight is warmer than when the sun is high in the sky.

However, in autumn the golden hour lasts much longer because the lower angle of the sun causes light to warm each scene. That is particularly noticeable when such light touches warm colors, as in these scenes (click on photo to enlarge).

Using digital darkrooms like Adobe Lightroom, photographers have many tools today that make it possible to emphasize vibrance, highlights, shadows and contrast. Years ago, we would spend endless hours in the dark working to express what we saw, experienced or imagined. Now, it happens in the light.

 

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Postcard: The Week That Was

Silver Lake Still Life (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Silver Lake Still Life (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Color spotters from across California sent images this week of what they captured.  Most came from US 395 in the Eastern Sierra, which had its last great week of peak. Here’s a postcard collection. Click to enlarge.

Silver Lake (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Silver Lake (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Silver Lake (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Silver Lake (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Owens Valley, near Bishop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Owens Valley, near Bishop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Aspendell (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Aspendell (10/24/15) Mariusz Jeglinski

Mariusz Jeglinski shared this collection of photographs taken on one day in the Eastern Sierra.  One day, one word… Beautiful!

Convict Lake (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Convict Lake (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Inyo National Forest (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Inyo National Forest (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Aspen, June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Aspen, June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Pushkar Gejji

Pushkar Gejji sent these impressions of the Eastern Sierra.

June Lake (10/25/15) Ivan Alo

June Lake (10/25/15) Ivan Alo

Owens Valley (10/25/15) Ivan Alo

Owens Valley (10/25/15) Ivan Alo

Ivan Alo journeyed to the spot where Greg Newbry took our masthead image and provides his take.

Then, he shows us the beauty to be found in the Owens Valley, when we open ourselves to seeing it.

North Coast color spotter Walter Gabler traveled from Humboldt County to Mendocino County on US, and reported very little color along the route.  Walt says Mendocino’s vineyards are still very green and have changed little since he took this shot last month, though harvest was completed two weeks ago.

Elsewhere in Humboldt County, Gabriel Leete found similarly disappointing bigleaf maple with dry leaves at the East Fork Campground, past Willow Creek.  Several spotters have voiced concern over what effect another year of drought might have on the bigleaf maple and aspen which have struggled in places throughout California.

Bigleaf maple, Grizzly Creek State Park (10/26/15) Walter Gabler

Bigleaf maple, Grizzly Creek State Park (10/26/15) Walter Gabler

Black oak, Benbow Inn State Recreation Area (10/26/15) Walter Gabler

Black oak, Benbow Inn State Recreation Area (10/26/15) Walter Gabler

Vines, Ukiah (9/21/15) Walter Gabler

Vines, Ukiah (9/21/15) Walter Gabler

East Fork Campground, Willow Creek (10/24/15) Gabriel Leete

East Fork Campground, Willow Creek (10/24/15) Gabriel Leete

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June Is Busting Out All Over

Willow Reflections, South of Silver Lake (10/24/15) David Olden

Willow Reflections, South of Silver Lake (10/24/15) David Olden

Lundy Canyon (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

Lundy Canyon (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

Convict Lake Sunset (10/25/15) Alena Nicholas

Convict Lake Sunset (10/25/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

June Lake Loop (10/24/15) Alena Nicholas

We’re beginning to receive reports and photos from color spotters who visited June Lake in the Eastern Sierra and who say it’s as good as it gets.

David Olden sent this image of willows reflected just south of Silver Lake.  The area is still just turning, though conditions vary greatly throughout the Loop, “from green to bare,” he writes.

Alena Nicholas called to say June Lake was busting out all over.  An extended report with Alena’s images will be posted on Tuesday. Here’s a sampling:

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Postcard: Gallimauphry

Sunrise Over Silver Lake (10/9/15) Nancy Wright

Sunrise Over Silver Lake (10/9/15) Nancy Wright

We’re now getting so many beautiful photographs of fall color each day, that sometimes there are just too many good ones to post separately.

So, Gallimauphry is our collection of assorted wonders. This collection includes some historic shots (more than a week old) and though we don’t usually post older images, as they could mislead travelers as to what’s showing, we’ll occasionally mix a few in these postcard selections, such as Nancy Wright’s shot of Sunrise Over Silver Lake (above) shot in early October in Mono County.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Get there at dawn, and
  2. There’s always next year.
Spanish Creek, Plumas County (10/19/15) Mike Nellor

Spanish Creek, Plumas County (10/19/15) Mike Nellor

Mike Nellor, a color spotter in the Quincy area, sends us this shot of Spanish Creek as it flows through Oakland Camp, east of Quincy. Plumas County color spotter Karen Moritz reports that Bucks Lake is now at 75% and the area around Quincy is peaking.  The Indian Valley, also in Plumas County, is Near Peak.

Lundy Canyon (10/20/15) Josh Wray

Lundy Canyon (10/20/15) Josh Wray

Josh Wray sends this peakaboo glimpse of how the color is developing in Lundy Canyon (Mono County).  Yes, it’s still Near Peak.

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Eastern Sierra Moves From Fall to Winter

Convict Lake (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Convict Lake (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

June Lake Loop (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

June Lake Loop (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Lundy Lake (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Lundy Lake (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Silver Lake (11/1)14) Nicholas Barnhart

Silver Lake (11/1)14) Nicholas Barnhart

Mono Lake (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Mono Lake (11/1/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Mammoth Lakes (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Mammoth Lakes (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Owens Valley (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Owens Valley (11/2/14) Nicholas Barnhart

Great fall color photographers are patient.  They’re willing to wait past sunset for the alpenglow or get up early for the morning light.  They don’t quit when everyone else says peak has passed. They go to unexpected places and find glory.

Great fall color photographers are methodical. They plan their shots, considering the calendar and locations they discovered previously and have banked away as worth returning to another day.

Great fall color photographers capture scenes others will never get.

Snow blanketed higher elevations in the Eastern Sierra this past weekend.  Most fall color photographers packed away their cameras when it had peaked a couple of weeks before, but not Nick and Alena Barnhart.  They’re great fall color photographers.

This past week, Nick called to say he and Alena were making one last trip to the Eastern Sierra, and if possible, cross over Tioga Pass to Yosemite.  That wasn’t possible, as the pass closed for winter, but they did bring back images few others got. Here’s what they found in Mono County and the Owens Valley as fall and winter collided.

Mono County Now Glorious and Peaking – Go Now!

Conway Summit (10/14/11) © 2011 Mark Gallin

As these images attest, fall color is now blazing across Mono County with full peak occurring between 50 and 100% of all areas between 7,500 and 8,000 ft.  No matter where you travel in Mono County, color spotter Alicia Vennos reports “the leaves and views are brilliant”.

June Lake Loop (10/14/11) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

Silver Lake (10/14/11) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

June Lake Loop (10/14/11) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/14/11) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

Gull Lake (10/14/11) © 2011 Alicia Vennos

The June Lake Loop, in particular, is spectacular with aspen that are a blend of yellow, orange-gold and deep red!

Crowley Area (10/14/11) © 2011 Leslie Willoughby

Crowley Lake and McGee Canyon are blazing as well, as are the Mammoth Lakes!

Lundy Canyon (10/15/11) © 2011 Michelle Quirsfeld

Lundy Canyon has gone off, and the Conway Summit, Virginia Lakes, and Bridgeport are also at peak.

North along the West Walker River, the trees are golden.

This coming week promises to be picture perfect as the peak fall color has arrived in full glory!

Fall lodging specials can be found at www.MonoCounty.org