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Foliage already turning colors!

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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby John Dittli » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:56 pm

and a few drive by's from Rock Creek
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby BrianF » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:59 pm

Nice pics. I was also up Rock Creek over the weekend to climb Mt. Morgan and the fall colors are still far from peak but coming along nicely in some areas!
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:24 pm

Thanks JD,

Rock Creek should be looking nice in a week or two with this cold snap hitting
this weekend and another colder one mid week, hopefully the second one doesn't
effect the colors to dramatically in a negative sense.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby John Dittli » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:18 pm

Bishop Creek is more advanced then RC, though still a lot of green. I have a feeling that many of the leaves that have already turned will drop soon.

A few days ago the scrub aspen up on Tamarack Bench in RC were blazing orange (that area traditionally comes on early). After the wind last night, most of them have dropped.

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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby SSSdave » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:27 pm

Thanks John, your images are just what I needed to calibrate timing for a short trip into the Bishop Creek areas. The first storm Fri/Sat is likely dry and windy and may remove a lot of early turning leaves at highest elevations and then another trough comes in midweek that I'm expecting may be the dusting making a trip worthwhile. An early peak in some of the higher groves will probably surprise many leaf seekers as most don't understand how fast it plays out sometimes.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby maverick » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:17 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby mountaineer » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:11 pm

I plan on driving from west to east over Hwy 88 through Hope Valley, down through Markleeville, over Monitor Pass down to 395 and then down 395 hitting all the usually suspects along that corridor. With that in mind, how are the colors doing in Hope Valley? Has anyone been there recently? I am thinking of going 9/28-10/1, but would 10/2-10/5 be better?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Report from photographer this past weekend that should help:

I was looking for aspens turning. I checked Hope Valley, Monitor Pass, down 395 to
Conway Summit, nothing, they were all green with an occasional tree that had a
few yellow leaves.

After Conway I turned onto the Virginia Lakes road and explored the Aspens in that
area, same thing, a few with some yellow, no all yellow trees that I could find. I
even 4WD up some dirt roads as far as I could go, same story.

It wasn't looking good so I detoured out to Bodie and wandered around there for a
couple hours trying to find stuff I had not photographed on previous visits.

I checked Dunderberg, June Lake Loop, Lundy Lake, and continued checking all the
spots I knew about on down to Bridgeport. It wasn't until I got to North Lake very
late in the day that I found any real color. In that area yes, the change is underway.
Most trees are yellow, many are orange. Looks like it will be in full glory in a
week or so.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby mountaineer » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:22 pm

Maverick, thanks for the report. Are you saying that was from the weekend of the 21st? If so, that is way different than what californiafallcolor.com is reporting. Thanks a bunch for the Hope Valley info. I couldn't find info on that anywhere.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Yes, this photographer went up very early on Sunday (22nd). Personally I tend to go with
first hand accounts from photographers, which is why I will miss the CalPhoto site for
Fall colors and wildflower reports.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby mountaineer » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:19 pm

maverick wrote:Yes, this photographer went up very early on Sunday (22nd). Personally I tend to go with
first hand accounts from photographers, which is why I will miss the CalPhoto site for
Fall colors and wildflower reports.


That is what I figured. I had already given more credence to your report.

I miss Dave Henry's interactive fall color map that usually runs on the Sac Bee site. Hasn't published yet this year and he told me via email yesterday that he doesn't know who is going to do it. That report was usually dead on.
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Re: Foliage already turning colors!

Postby SSSdave » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:58 pm

mountaineer wrote:... Are you saying that was from the weekend of the 21st? If so, that is way different than what californiafallcolor.com is reporting...


Actually this happens every fall. Post some images that look good and some people are sure to drive up from LA. Good for eastside businesses to snag a few early haha. Its not that they are being deceptive because they are naming some lower areas that are still green. Just not showing images of the green areas or noting the named areas are lower elevation. That is for the reader to do their homework for looking such green places up on a topo and gleaning some wisdom. Simply put, the majority of leaf seekers have little understanding of when or why different aspen groves change color when they do. They see some photos and go. Look at old calphoto posts from previous seasons and each fall there will be a few just like the person in maverick's thread.

The upper Bishop Creek areas always start to change and then peak before most areas further north or lower areas of Bishop Creek. Those reports and images are areas above 9000 feet. Bishop Creek areas have more high elevation groves than anywhere else on the east side. Most everywhere else is still just as green as lower down on Bishop Creek at Aspendale and Four Jeffries. All those big groves in Hope Valley for instance are at the same elevation as Four Jeffries and will change much later.

Being aware of grove elevations, exposures, and late season sources of sub-surface water is important to predicting when areas will change because just like is often the case with spring wildflowers...windows for peak color are short. Youz snooz, youz looz. And most of us do not want to waste time and money (gasoline).

Now there are some small high elevation groves to the north, but most are rather out of sight from highways. For instance up Rock Creek Road, around the big campground at Rock Creek Lake at 9.7k and above along the narrow road to Mosquito Flat. Or in Gibbs Canyon (tributary to Lee Vining Creek) but people can't see them from below. There are more and those who are topo savvy and explore will reap their secrets.
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