Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Fall is Here

OK, you knew that. And so did I. But a few comments and observations seem to be in order.

1. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area fall is not what you might expect. After all these years living here I still want to think that the weather will moderate when fall starts – but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, this is often one of the hottest times of the year, and the greatest California fire danger is often from now until about the middle of October. It hasn’t rained for a long time, the vegetation is dry, and it can be hot and sunny with offshore winds. (Real fall-like weather around here starts closer to the end of October.)

2. That said, there are signs that the seasons are changing. Not only are the daylight hours obviously a lot shorter now, but there are some other transitions taking place. I was at Muir Woods today where I saw bay and maple leaves turning yellow and gold, and many of the seasonal plants are starting to die away.

3. The Sierra is a different world than these coastal areas. Because of the higher elevations the first signs of the end of summer come much earlier – actually before summer ends. Weeks ago I saw the corn lily plants beginning to turn yellow and brown and fall over. Most of the flowers – but not all – were done blossoming. The creeks have lost their peak season flow and some have dried up completely. And a week or two ago I saw quite a bit of fall color in the high country – plants turning brown and yellow and golden, and the light taking on the warm quality of fall.

4. Perhaps best of all, the Sierra aspens are starting to turn. I had hoped to make a quick trip to the “east side” today, but that turned out to not be possible. However, I’m hearing from quite a few sources that the aspens have turned in a major way at some of the higher locations, and over the color show should continue and peak over the next week or two.

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September 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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