Leaf-peeper Reports 2011
November 7, 2011
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There's still quite a bit of good foliage out there (mostly oaks and aspen) and the weather is clear and sunny. There's snow on the ground around the 4,000-foot elevation level, but major highways are clear. It's a chance to get some great foliage photos with snow-capped peaks and conifers in the background! If anyone out there is getting these shots, we'll add them to this report!
We saw a few folks out this weekend getting Christmas trees; but most local leaf-peepers were probably hunkered down staying warm. This week will probably be the last hurrah for seeing foliage since there's no precipitation forecast until at least Saturday night/Sunday. If you are making a trip, be sure to bundle up because temperatures will barely reach 50 degrees and lows will be dipping down to the lower 30s.
We've had a few leaf peepers in today, and another one called from Southern California, still hoping to catch some of Northern California's color!
Although we're reluctant to shift from fall to winter, it's time to focus on holiday/winter activities and holiday events throughout Plumas County! We'll be changing our page to winter/holiday mode this week, and switching over to our regular Plumas Buzz blog.
Once again, it's been another wonderful Awesome Autumn season, and we've enjoyed helping some 706 walk-ins in the Visitors Center from all over! Some of you have become friends! We also answered hundreds of phone calls, emails and requests for visitor packets. This blog featured reports from 35 of you, plus an entire elementary school class! The leaf peeper blog also featured some 170 photos.
Thank you to all you leaf peeping reporters and photographers, some of whom have shared entire photo galleries! Also special thanks to Jim Carlton of the Weather Channel, Carlos Alcala of the Sacramento Bee, and John Poimiroo of californiafallcolor.com for helping spread the word about Plumas County's "Awesome Autumn."
And very special thanks to our "regular" veteran leaf-peepers, especially Joe (above in gray shirt), Jeff, Mike, and Richard, Jim, Jay and John (pointing at right) who have done so much to help guide our visitors to the right spots!
Also, cheers to all of the hospitality providers for taking such good care of our autumn visitors throughout the county! It's really not just all about the leaves, these people need to eat, drink, shop and sleep!
Again, thanks for helping, thanks for reading and thanks for visiting! We hope to see you on this leaf-peeper blog and back up in Plumas County again soon!
PS: Special note to Vivian and Jerry of Orange County, who swear they drove all the way up just to meet the office cats. You need to come back because you missed one! "Packer" is our newest cat ambassador in training, who was discovered in the airport bathroom. He's about six months old and is driving Baloo and Mowgli crazy. But someone has to take over when those old boys retire!
See you next year!
Kari, Suzi, Mowgli, Baloo and Packer
Plumas County Visitors Bureau
November 4, 2011
Even though we have snow, Joe Willis and his wife took a brief hike up in Boyle Ravine (in Quincy) on Thursday and photographed these fungi within a half hour. He says that there are many other types up there as well as Pine Drops, various plants gone to seed and berry, and lots of other stuff that's interesting even though the snow has knocked down most of the broad leaves.
Joe wants you to be aware and know that he hesitates to identify species of fungi, even if he could, because of the potential for having someone pick a species that may be poisonous and could cause death. However, there are lots of good field guides one could use. Advice from experienced mycologists is advised, however.
Well well well, we got snow! The orange of the oaks was barely visible this morning on Hwy. 70 between Portola and Quincy -- and Bucks Lake was covered in a foot of snow! About four inches on the ground in Graeagle, and about the same in Chester.
The aspens are at peak in the northern end of the county, and in the Sierra Valley, and oaks are looking good, but at present they're under snow, and more is expected on Saturday evening. So not looking the best for leaf peeping this weekend! But it might be good for shopping! (See Nov. 2 post, below.)
The shot at right is taken (thru the window while driving) going over the Mohawk Bridge in Graeagle over the Middle Fork Feather River, where cottonwoods have been past peak for a while.
We have certainly experienced a uneven peak this year, and certainly not one of the best fall foliage years overall that we've tracked.
Nevertheless, leaf peepers seem to have enjoyed their trips and have managed to get some great photos this year! And it's been great meeting all of you!
We'll share a few more from Jay Read of High Sierra ATV Tours out of Chilcoot; he took these aspen shots on Oct. 31. By the way, Jay does both fall foliage and winter tours on Arctic Cats, so today you might be able to do both!
Well check back again next week to see how the fall colors are faring once the snow melts .. the forecast says there will a nice window of three sunny days ahead (Mon-Wed) before more precipitation continues through next weekend. It's not winter quite yet ... even though some folks are tuning up their skis and snowmobiles!
Nevertheless, that window next week might just be the last hurrah for seeing foliage ... and don't forget you can also get your Christmas tree while you're out there!
November 2, 2011
Still getting some great reviews of color out there! Hoping someone is capturing the oaks now so we can post some of that dazzling orange color here! Here's some oak that's red (right) along the Genesee Road, but the hillsides are becoming orange with color so we'll try and get that soon.
We've had a couple of solo leaf-peepers in today, and we've sent them on some adventurous journeys! Hoping we'll hear back -- one headed to Antelope Lake and Frenchman Lake via some unpaved Forest Service roads. The other was a Bay area day-tripper (very challenging trying to do this in a day by the way) and he's off for a hike at 2:30 pm, hoping to make it on the road before dark!
thought Vivian and Jerry (see Oct. 31 post, below) drove all the
way to Plumas County from Orange County last weekend just to meet our
office cats. Turns out, they discovered lots of fall foliage, and wow, what
incredible photos they got! We're illustrating today's blog with a few, but
complete gallery of their trip to Feather River Canyon, Indian
Valley and Bucks Lake. The photos include oak off the Caribou Road
off Hwy. 70, Baloo the cat (at our Visitors Center), and Mountain Dogwood
and oak (turning lime green to yellow) along the Round Valley Lake Road
and Indian Rhubarb along the Indian Creek just north of the intersection
with Hwy. 70. The
of the town is Taylorsville, a peaceful little hamlet on the way to Antelope
They write: "We spent a fabulous weekend in Plumas County and took a
lot of pictures of both the fall color and the cats! Quincy is one of the most
beautiful and cat-friendly town we've seen, we are thinking about bringing our
orange tabby cat along next time.Thank you for your great work and have a
So, it really still is fall, but we mentioned yesterday that Christmas tree permits are now on sale.
And, stores in Indian Valley are the first to get in the holiday spirit, hosting Christmas Boutiques where you'll find stores completely decked out with holiday trees and decor! The ornaments and decor will be for sale of course, along with gifts for those of you wanting to get a jump on holiday shopping.
This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (or later) head for Crescent Country in Crescent Mills and Sterling Sage on 213 Main St. in Greenville, where there will be refreshments as well as plenty of Christmasy things. (You'll also find other participating merchants and restaurants in those towns along with Taylorsville offering specials for shoppers. )These stores go all out for the Christmas season, and set up several trees with different themes. Josh Huddleston of Sterling Sage sent over this shot of one of his favorite trees this year, decorated with driftwood angels, and over 100 authentic Victorian photos with organza bows. They'll also be serving pancakes every day (until 2 pm), served with fig and walnut butter or pear butter, plus cherry cheesecake, among other goodies. The store also has these culinary delights available for sale! Yum!
One more thing: get rid of that awful Halloween candy! Josh says fine candies abound in his store. "Lemon Meringue Pie Candy is a tradition here and our sock-deer are quite the chums ..."
That's making our mouths water over here!
November 1, 2011
There's still lots of fall color out there, though the wind is breezy (but the sun is shining!) The oaks were late to the party this year, but they are having a nice show of their own, with some late-comer non-native maples still glowing with color.
John Redman of Elk Grove and The Master's Light Photography returned to Plumas County last weekend and sent in these glorious photos of his trip up to Bucks Lake. One (above) is Thompson Lake, across the road from Bucks Lake in the morning, ferns along Bucks Lake Road towards Quincy and a bridge and pond he found outside of Quincy. Taken on Saturday, these show there's some good-looking aspen still happening in the higher country, along with some ground cover. The foliage is just not very uniform this year -- which means you'll be in for surprises!
Kids were out in force last night at merchants Safe Trick-or-Treat events staged throughout the communities of Plumas County. This young Harry Potter was spotted on Jackson Street in Quincy, outside of Ada's Place, which has a lovely maple showing peak yellow colors, along with hydrangea near peak.
And here's another non-native maple at peak, right in the our backyard here at Gansner Airport just west of Quincy.
Okay, so even though the deciduous trees are still stealing the show, it's time to start paying attention to conifers out there in the woods. Why? Because today is the official start of the Xmas Tree cutting season, with permits now on sale throughout many businesses and U.S. Forest Service offices in Plumas, Butte and Lassen counties. For just $10, you can cut your own fresh holiday tree in specified areas (there's 1.2 million acres of forestland out there so you'll find plenty of choices in pine trees!)
Yeah, we know Halloween just ended and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! But the holiday tree season is on nonetheless! And most people like to get theirs before the snow flies!
Here's a list of the places selling tree permits, and some advice on what you'll need to bring. The permits will be on sale through Dec. 24.
Finally today, Aphra Pia of Oakland who was here last Friday shows that there's red to be found, with late Mountain Dogwood coming in (Round Valley Lake Road outside of Greenville) and some red berries (False Solomon's Seal, a lily, according to Joe Willis, resident berry expert!)
October 31, 2011
The weather continues to be excellent for fall foliage viewing!
The oaks have been stubborn but are coming in now, looking pretty nice on the Genesee Road (Indian Valley) and on the Hwy. 70 between Graeagle and Quincy, according to local leaf-peepers.
Ross and Virginia Hambly, who were here last week, sent these two photos (above and at right), the first taken on the road to Silver Lake off Bucks Lake Road and from the Nelson Creek Bridge on the La Porte Road.
Kathy and Mas Kobashi also sent in this photo of Packer Lake (in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area.) The Kobashis have a second home up in Plumas County. "We just couldn't leave Quincy it was too beautiful so stayed an extra week," they wrote.
It looks like aspens there are getting there, likely at peak this week.
This is Vivian and Jerry holding Visitors Bureau Cat Ambassador Baloo.
They drove all the way from Orange County and came
on Saturday to find out about fall colors and places to go fishing, but said
they especially wanted to to drop in and meet cats Mowgli and Baloo. In
fact, when they came in the door the first thing they said was "Where is
Mowgli and Baloo?"
They said that they had seen Baloo's photo on our blog and couldn't resist coming up to meet the kitties in person. Baloo gots lots and lots of attention, petting and hugs, and he loved every second of it. Vivian took lots of pictures of the cats to take back with them so they could remember their visit with the "boys."
October 29, 2011
sounds like a great time to head up to Bucks Lake (17 miles west of
Quincy) according to Bob and Julia Kellejian from Paradise, California
who were there this past Friday.
The Kellejan's said that "the photo of the road (left) was taken on the morning of October 28 on the lower road from Quincy to Bucks Lake"
"The photo of the Aspens (right) reflected in the water was taken on the road that skirts the west side of Bucks Lake, again on the morning of October 28th. We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the area".
John Redman of Elk Grove was up a week ago and agrees our foliage this year is a bit confusing, always beautiful, but was at different stages. These shots are of Indian Valley (Hwy. 89) between Greenville and Quincy; and the La Porte English maple along the La Porte Road. John is coming back for more this weekend!
A few Chester folks just walked in and said things are looking really pretty up there! The silver maples are going, but the cottonwoods and other trees are still to come -- so those of you planning to come later should head north! They'll be driving up to Echo Lake in the Caribou Wilderness this weekend and we're hoping to get a leaf-peeper report in from them later.
Meanwhile, Chuck Viebrock of Marin County was in Eastern Plumas County, Lake Davis and Frenchman Canyon on Oct. 26 and found only partial color; it appears aspens were still a bit green in the photo he sent of Frenchman Canyon. Once dogwoods turn there, however, this spot is a gem for photographs, because of the dark black volcanic rock that contrasts against the foliage.
Tirza Roring Pollmann of Newport Beach, CA writes:
"Dear Keeper of the “Leaf Peepers”
First of all I would like to thank you so much for sending your beautiful and superbly compiled publication as it convinced my husband and I to want to visit your awesomely beautiful piece of heaven on earth. This was our first visit to Plumas County and we certainly have fallen in love with your area... and LORD willing we would love to be residents soon.
Enclosed are my captures of your area from our honeymoon trip taken October 16th and wish to submit more later as time arises."
can see by her early photos along the Feather River Canyon that things were
still quite green; especially the Indian Rhubarb, but be looking for that to be
changing soon! These shots were taken at the Belden bridge and in one of three
tunnels you'll pass along Hwy. 70 in the canyon.