Posts

,

Holiday Lights

California sycamore, W Fork San Gabriel River (12-2-18) Naresh Satyan

In the San Gabriel Mountains, December is lit with orange, vermillion, yellow and russet.

Southern California color spotter Naresh Satyan reports, “We just had our first big winter storm in Southern California last week, and yet it feels like fall, in some areas, in the mountains.”

He spent the day walking the West Fork of the San Gabriel river in  San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and found beautiful fall color still lingering.

Bigleaf maple, California sycamore, willows and various other plants remain vibrant along West Fork Road.

Naresh found it hard to describe what is peak color, “since it seems like the trees don’t all turn at the same time. We have a few trees in peak color, but I’d say most of it is past peak.” 

  • W. Fork San Gabriel River, San Gabriel Mountains – Peak to Past Peak, You Almost Missed It.

 

,

Too Much Fall Color

Ryleigh Davalos, Los Altos (11/3/18) Anson Davalos

Ryleigh Davalos, 15 mos., seems to have had her fill of fall color in this photo taken by her dad, Saturday, in downtown Los Altos.

C’mon Ryleigh we never get tired viewing fall color, especially in California’s urban forests.

In the South Bay and Peninsula villages of Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Menlo Atherton, Redwood City and Burlingame, landscaped trees are nearing peak, and the show is now more lively than a crib mobile.

Downtown Los Altos has one of the Bay Area’s best displays of Chinese pistache, Pistacia chinensis, which have a long, vibrant display of fluorescent color. 

  • Los Altos (157′) – Patchy to Near Peak (10-75%) GO NOW!
, ,

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

 

, ,

Mulholland Miracle

California sycamore, Mulholland Highway, Santa Monica Mountains (10/6/18) Peter Asco

California sycamore, Mulholland Highway, Santa Monica Mountains (10/6/18) Peter Asco

California sycamore, Mulholland Highway, Santa Monica Mountains (10/6/18) Peter Asco

“Following the black walnut’s fall wake up call, come the majestic sycamore … showcasing colors rarely seen in So Cal native flora,” Peter Asco reported.

As Peter scouted Mulholland Highway, in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, on a “perfect, partially cloudy day” this past weekend, he “came upon a scenery alien to our landscape, a grove of imposing 100 foot high sycamore.”

They were, “… no longer displaying their usual drab mud-brown seasonal shift, but dressed instead in orange, yellow, green, and red, definitely a miracle!”

“The native California sycamore (Platanus racemosais a true beauty at maturity.

Along the coast the gnarled, twisted, flaking trunks of ancient California sycamore are often distorted into Seussian shapes. I like to think they were what inspired Southern California’s Dr. Seuss to draw trees that way. Certainly, they are one of the most sculpturally fascinating trees in a state full of them.

Not all California sycamore bend and twist in this way, though all are beautiful and Peter scores a First Report for his photographs of Near Peak California sycamore along the Mulholland Highway.

Will miracles never cease. 

Mulholland Highway, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Malibu – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

,

American River Reflections

Sycamore, American River, Lotus (10/21/17) Hari Reddy

In autumn, the American River is placid, unlike the surging stream it is in late spring and early summer. Sycamore, Frémont cottonwood and black oak cast golden, orange, yellow and lime reflections across its slow moving waters.

Lotus, near where gold was discovered in Coloma in 1848, is a popular put-in spot for rafters and kayakers, making the American the most popular whitewater rafting destination in California. Though in autumn, paddling is as quiet as the river.

American River, Lotus (722′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

El Dorado Hills (768′) – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW! – Exotic Chinese pistache, sycamore, flowering plum and pears and native blue oaks planted along El Dorado Hills Blvd. are a mix of burgundy, auburn, crimson, yellow, orange, lime and buff.

,

First Report: Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

California sycamore, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

California sycamore, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

Color spotter Sweetshade Lane tweeted seeing subtle color at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego, thereby scoring the first “First Report” of the season.

California sycamore, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

California sycamore, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

Frémont cottonwood, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

Frémont cottonwood, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (8/21/16) Sweetshade Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The preserve covers some 4,000 acres in the Peñasquitos (meaning little cliffs) and Lopez canyons of San Diego. It is an area with stark beauty and prehistoric cultural sites that date back over 7,000 years.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon was part of the first Mexican land grant in San Diego County. Tours of the historic Santa Maria de Los Peñasquitos Adobe are available to school groups and the public.

The canyon is renowned as a nature preserve containing geologic formations, over 500 plant species including several landmark trees and 175 birds, as well as many reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon’s Frémont cottonwood have begun revealing golden leaves, while the twisted limbs of California sycamore are laden with equally twisted chartreuse and rose-colored leaves, providing sculptural detail to the scene.

Just Starting (0-10%) – Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

 

Oakland: Yellow and Green in Fall, but Red?

Sycamore line Trestle Glen, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Sycamore line Trestle Glen, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

We know Oakland sports yellow and green in August, as those are the colors of the town’s baseball team, the Athletics, but red?

Color spotter Darrell Sano took an eight-mile hike “from downtown Oakland to the foothills of my neighborhood, Montclair. While I wouldn’t say it’s fall color time here, there is a tinge of color on many trees and shrubs, and it feels like autumn for sure.”

Chinese pistache, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Chinese pistache, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Japanese maple, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Japanese maple, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Liquidambar, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Liquidambar, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

The photos Darrell sent are startling, as the trees are showing quite a bit of early color for a part of California that is often among the last to peak.

Of course, all of the showy deciduous trees in Oakland are exotics (Japanese maple, Chinese pistache, sycamore, liquidambar), so there’s no telling what clock they’re on.

Darrell said he would have missed the color had he been driving. Instead, he encourages “walking and meandering’ your hometown, like “hiking in the Sierra.”

What is remarkable, is that Darrell noted, “The light quality has changed, adding warmth to everything, as well as increasing backlit contrast.” He “used a very short 18-55mm telephoto lens” which mean he had to walk up to the color and observe it in order to fully appreciate the early display within Oakland’s neighborhoods.

He reported that nearly turned sycamore line Trestle Glen in Oakland, and that “some leaf raking has already begun!”

Chinese pistache, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

Chinese pistache, Oakland (8/19/16) Darrell Sano

His pictures show spots of fluorescent red among the Chinese pistache, with the forbidden color (red-green) – so called because it is not perceptible to the color-blind – emerging with florid edges on the pistache bleeding into the green.  

Oakland homes laden with Boston ivy are also warming up, with about half turned red, so far.

Remarkable, and it’s not yet September! Ånd, aren’t Oakland’s September colors supposed to be yellow and green? 

Just Starting (0-10%) – Oakland