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Fall Colors Already??

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Fall Colors Already??

Postby SierraVisions » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:38 pm

Hey everyone.
I decided to come pay a visit to you all. Been awhile since I posted. It's a long story as to why, (those of you that vistit my site SierraVisions know why) but I should be back on a regular basis now.

I drove up Bishop Creek yesterday and to my surprise I found that it's early Autumn up there!! The meadows are starting to turn brown and some of the willows are changing. In the twenty years I've lived in the Eastern Sierra i can't remember seeing any color this early.
I didn't see any color on the aspens though, so maybe they will behave normaly and wait for another month.

The temps. in the Sierra have been very fallish this month, in fact Aug. has felt more like Sept. I have heard that it's been in the low thirties in the mountains. It's dropped into the fourties here in Bishop a couple of nights.

That magical time of year is just around the corner and I'll start keeping everyone posted on the colors as they start to change.
Steven



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Postby hikerduane » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:47 pm

I found the opposite on my trip a couple weeks ago sorta/kinda around the Silver Pass area. Everything was nice, lush and green. I have had to go on my bp trips in mid October for years when the fall colors are in full swing except for the past couple years when I was unable to go. The Monday a couple weeks ago though was cool and it got real cool that Monday night, the ground was frozen Tuesday morning and at least one shallow pool by Cotton Lake had fresh ice on it when I passed it that morning. What I see where I live is some leaves are changing due to hot weather in Aug.

The trip down 395 in Oct sure is beautiful.
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Postby rightstar76 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:06 pm

Now that I think about it, there was ice on our tent at Rae and Charlotte lakes last week. Also, when we were at Charlotte Lake, the night reminded me of when we went backpacking to Seville Lake last October. When we went last fall, it was during a warm period, and I remember telling my wife it felt like a August night, not too warm, but not too cold either, kind of fallish. That's what it felt like last week.
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Postby SSSdave » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:20 pm

I'll speculate. Wildflowers in higher areas above 9k were generally delayed this summer as considerable more snow than usual fed wet slopes and meadows. However that is now over with most high meadows having peaked in the last couple weeks. Turf grasses after seeding quickly go from green to brown as I noted yesterday passing through Tuolumne Meadows. A considerable change in a mere week. The first fall color changes will be arctic willow, salix arctica in high turfy meadows. At 9k to 11k that normally occurs last week in August through first couple weeks of September. Given the late summer to those elevations this year, I'm guessing a bit of a delay from normal. Lower down the aspen groves and cottonwood are likely to be on a more average year clock with many areas stretching out the color period given extra water everywhere. ...David
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Postby ifernau » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:57 pm

I have only gone up to the Eastern Sierra for fall Colors since 2003 and found the colors in 2004 to be about a week early. In 2003 I found fall colors as late as 10/25. In 2004 the first snow storm hit Bishop Creek on 9/19 and the leaf season ended with the first major snow storm on 10/17.
Last year appeared to be "normal", with some of the groves at peak last week September.
In 2004 and 2005 I was so eager to find fall color around labor day, but really only a few leaves had changed.
Inge
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Postby SierraVisions » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:01 pm

I was just checking the dates on my Bishop Creek shots for the last two years. In 2004 I found some color along the South fork of Bishop Creek on Sept 10. There was some awesome color up at North Lake on Sept. 12 and the trees along the road above Cardinal Village were just starting to turn. By the first of Oct. everything was in full swing.
In 2005 I don't have any pictures before Sept. 25 and by then it looks like everything was turning on Bishop Creek.

I guess we'll know in a few weeks what this year will bring. I will keep you informed. My favorite time of year is knocking and I'll be making many trips up Bishop Creek over the next two months.

Steven
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Postby wingding » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:45 pm

Yes, there are signs of the beginning of autumn in the Sierra, but at the same time the wildflowers are still blooming beautifully in some areas. It's like the seasons are merging.
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