Fall Color In California (Photos)

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It's All About Location

Growing up in Southern California was great, the weather was almost always pleasant and warm. You could plant and grow lots of things at almost any time of year.

I didn't know what I was missing until experiencing a few years of seasonal changes.

Here in the Sierra foothills we get a little snow each Winter, wildflowers in the Spring, hot sunny days in the Summer and some colorful changes in the Fall.

The seasonal color comes naturally. Sometimes for several weeks, and sometimes for a much briefer period.

The black oaks can get very colorful with the right sequence of weather changes. Sometimes we help the Autumnal colors by planting a few trees like Maple and Aspen that are known to be trustworthy show-offs.

Changing angles of sunlight and chilly Fall breezes intensify the brightness of the color and make the leaves shimmer and sparkle.

A red Maple and golden Poplars get along well with the  Native Live Oaks and Ponderosa Pines
A red Maple and golden Poplars get along well with the Native Live Oaks and Ponderosa Pines | Source
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Another red -leafed Maple helps guard the propane tank, and makes a stark contrast to the dark evergreens

I hope the propane gas delivery guy enjoys seeing it.



Manzanita bush leaves stay green all year. (Below)

They have tiny pink, bell-shaped flowers in the Spring that turn to tiny red berries in the Summer.

In the Fall, they show their smooth rusty-red stems and branches,after sloughing off the thin bark from last year.

This is one of my favorites. Old manzanita bushes hold on to their grey dead branches for a long tme, but if you break off the dead wood, they really show off the their elegant forms.

Manzanita bush.
Manzanita bush. | Source
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From a back window, there's a view of the chicken house and the garden behind a big Black Oak.

The sun shining on the yellow poplar leaves down by the creek, provide a golden curtain of color in the background.

Close up of poplar leaves and pods.
Close up of poplar leaves and pods. | Source
Source

Even the blueberry bushes, when they are finished giving their fruit, put on a colorful show and to celebrate the changing of seasons.

You can almost hear them say "Hey! Look at me now!"

Blueberry bushes, showing off.
Blueberry bushes, showing off. | Source
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Some of the seasonal color comes in the form of berries.

These will last through the holidays and make a nice Christmas decoration.

I'm always looking for the Cedar Waxwing birds who like to nibble these treats, but those birds are scarce and also very shy.

There seems to be more berries this year. Maybe the Waxwings will be tempted to stay longer.

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A Japanese Maple in back of the house is protected from the hungry deer by it's wire cage.

Bravely, it shows off it's scarlet leaves.

It is a slow grower, but hopefully it will be able to survive without the protection one day.

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Of course, "fall" when used as a verb instead of a noun, also means something the leaves eventually do.

They look pretty on the ground for awhile, but when the trees are finally bare, most of them need to be raked up and burned.

Another show off, out in back, gets taller and redder every year.
Another show off, out in back, gets taller and redder every year. | Source
Poplar trees can cover the ground solidly with bright yellow leaves.
Poplar trees can cover the ground solidly with bright yellow leaves. | Source
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Comments 51 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

What absolutely beautiful photos, Rochelle. They remind me of all the beauty I have missed outdoors since moving to Florida where most foliage is various shades of green - only green. I do not miss the snow but I do miss the fall foliage. Thanks for bringing me some beauty today.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, drbj. You always comment so generously in the hubs. My photos aren't that great... most of the time I can't get it quite right even with my 'foolproof' camera. It least it gives an idea of the colors around my house.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Loved seeing these Fall colors. In Houston we get a few trees that turn technicolor...but few in comparison to more northern climes. Enjoyed seeing your trees when showing their fall vestments.


rsusan profile image

rsusan 4 years ago from South Africa

Thank you for publishing these, Rochelle! I absolutely love fall colors and these pictures are a delight. How wonderful our Creator is to bring us such joy with the change of season. Voted up and awesome. Thank you for seeing it and bringing it to us - it becomes so easy to miss these things or to take them for granted.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Peggy W. It takes cold nights and sunny days during a part of the year when the days are a certain length-- I think I will ad a little of the science to the hub.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, too, rsusan. The tree color lasts only for a brief time-- I think that is one of the reasons it is so special.


carcro profile image

carcro 4 years ago from Winnipeg

Absolutely gorgeous pictures of Autumn, nicely done. Voted Up and Awesome.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Can I come home with you? I want to come home with you...(pout and tantrum).


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

carcro, thank you for looking and commenting. Some of these photos I took just two days ago-- and now a lot of them are falling with a little wind coming before a little expected rain. I'm glad to share them and appreciate your appreciation.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

That would be great. Maybe I could spend a few days in Jamaica when the snow comes. I'll at least show the photos. I probably try to duplicate these in the winter season, just for comparison.

Like I said, I am from Southern California-- born in a beach city with lots of palm trees and very little weather change. I still don't like being cold, but a little snow is very refreshing.


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 4 years ago from Andalusia

Amazing pictures. My sister lives in Boston where she enjoys similar colours in fall.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Sue Adams. I think the east coast gets better opportunities for fall color, but we do get a touch of it here in the mountains of California, too.


laurathegentleman profile image

laurathegentleman 4 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

Absolutely stunning photographs! Autumn is my favorite season, and this is exactly why - just look how beautiful! :) Great read, and interesting to see how fall looks on the West coast :)


CarolK. 4 years ago

I always thought the Utah mountains had the best fall tree colors but your backyard dispelled that myth. How special to be able to look out your windows and see such splendor so near and ready to be photographed at a moment's notice. What amazing colors, so vivid and sharp. God's handiwork at its best. Your idea of taking pictures of the same trees in the winter would make for a great companion piece. What about posting them side by side so one can really see the before and after?


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

Every season has its beauty and these photos are absolute superb. You are a great photographer.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

@ laurathegentleman-- it can look like this in parts of California-- you usually have to be in the foothill or mountains. These particular shots were taken at about 3200 ft elevation.

@ CarolK-- thanks for coming by. Utah, Colorado and some of the other mountain areas are probably more consistent in fall color of their native trees. Ours is not always as colorful, and it is usually a very brief show.

@ Hello,hello-- you are right and part of the beauty is the change and contrast of the seasons.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Hey Rochelle, great pictures. Some years back I spent about 3 months in California and the view in some places were just fantastic. I was just South of Los Angeles and the colors you captured here reminded of my time there. Thank you. :)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for commenting, Cagsil. I do love California, a lot of people don't know how diverse the state is.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

I spent my early years in Los Angeles County, and never saw this kind of color until I moved up here to the Central Coast. We may not have all the colors of more mountainous areas, but it's sure a contrast to what I grew up with. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos of the beauty around your home. Voted up and awesome, and beautiful.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I livd in LA and Orange County until about 15 years ago. Now in the Sierra foothills.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks for sharing the fall colors from your own back yard! I have a book of photographs from the Sierra mountains and I go through it once in a while enjoying the splendor of the area from my armchair. I think your photographs are beautiful!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for commenting, Scribenet. The fall leaves are almost all gone-- especially since we had a monster windstorm in California, today. At least we didn't lose power, like thousands of others did.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

That must have been a pretty big storm. It started down here yesterday. I'm glad we didn't lose our power, because we often do when it's this windy.


Journey * profile image

Journey * 4 years ago from USA

Very pretty. Thanks for sharing these pics.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Journey.

And Thank you, WannaB. Yes, It blew through the Center of California, down to the south. Some areas around us lost power-- but we retained contact.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Awesome Pictures. Love those different colors of fall. Thanks for sharing!


Derdriu 4 years ago

Rochelle Frank: What a vivacious and vivid look at fall colors! In particular, I like the photogenic texture of the manzanita and the photogenic colors of the blueberry.

Thank you for sharing, voted up, etc.,

Derdriu


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Anamika S. I am pleased to share with you.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I'm honored by your comment, Derdriu. As an arborist, I know you have a special appreciation of trees. The beautiful Manzanita-- though more of a bush than a tree, is a very interesting plant. It goes through many changes and has a special connection to the native cultures, too.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 4 years ago from trailer in the country

Thankyou for sharing the colors...beautiful...even though it is winter, it is nice to remember the colors of fall.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

It lasted for only a brief period, but when things are scare we might appreciate them more.

Thank you for commenting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

These were really lovely photos. I like all of the photos that you shared. You did a wonderful job of narrating the photos also. I liked the contrast between the leaves and the ground, and the leaves and the branches and bark. Lovely!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, homesteadbound. When I look at the photos, I think, "this is not quite it", but some of then did come close. I'm glad you enjoyed them.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Absolutely beautiful photos! that's one thing I love about Autumn, the trees really come into their own, and make the garden so colorful and gorgeous, I love the way you took these photos, they would make a great calender! rated up and amazing!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you very much, Nell.

I am sort of a newcomer to Fall color, as I said. My husband likes to plant fruit trees that promise produce and leafy trees that promise color, now that we have space and climate. He doesn't do a lot of housework-- but his ourdoor-work is excellent.


Serene Insights profile image

Serene Insights 4 years ago from West bend, WI

Wow what a beautiful experience! Thank you! I live in Wisconsin and it just doesn't seem right to ignore the beauty of nature!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Serene. Sometimes it's hard to ignore.


freelanceauthor profile image

freelanceauthor 4 years ago

You are so blessed to live in a place surrounded by such beauty.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Yes-- and it changes. This morning all those trees are covered with icy frost crystals. Thank you for looking in.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

So lovely, and excellent photography besides. Voting this Up and Beautiful.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Alocsin. I lived in Orange and LA county for a long time-- it has given me an appreciation of the changing seasons.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

As an avid gardener, you introduced me to a new world. So beautiful! Thank you! Black oaks - something I never heard of and much more. Very well done. Keep up the great work! Voted up!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you GmaGoldie. The Black Oaks of central California produced the preferred acorns for the native tribes. Acorn was the staple food of many groups and the black oak produces very large ones. You might like my hub about Manzanita, too.


dazzle vee profile image

dazzle vee 4 years ago

wow! these are absolutely wonderful!!

hope to see such a marvel in reality!!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I hope you do, too. It is quite amazing if you haven't lived with it all your life. Thanks for commenting.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

Beautiful pictures - I love the manzanita shrub! We all tend not to think of seasonal changes at all in CA!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Many people think of California as being L.A. or San Francisco, but there's really a lot more. We don't have a lot of Fall color every year-- can't compete with New England, but sometimes we have the right conditions. It can be short lived, but it's great when it happens. Thanks for commenting, Dolores.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Beautiful fall colors enjoyed your photos. Congratulations on your five years. I had to come and visit your hubs. Voted up.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, moonlake. This was a couple of years ago. This past fall produced some colr, but it was very brief.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

The Japanese Maple in your back yard is spectacular. Enjoyed the autumn colors and voted up!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Writer Fox. Last year's color was not quite as good, but it has been pretty good this year. I have a Flowering Plum tree that needs its picture taken this week. I haven't looked at this hub for awhile-- found a couple of typos that needed a fix.

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