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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 26, 2012

Yosemite Fall Color Reports 10/26/12

Michael Frye in a recent post Autumn Takes It’s Time reports

Over on the western side of the mountains I had a chance to check on conditions in Yosemite Valley yesterday, and can report that autumn is arriving slowly. I found some nice color across the river from El Capitan, underneath Middle Cathedral Rock, where most of the maples have turned yellow. Some other maples around the valley have also turned, along with a few dogwoods and cottonwoods, but most of the deciduous trees are still green.

It looks like the peak color is still at least a week away, but the good news is that most of the trees seem to be in good shape. The leaves on a few dogwoods have already wilted and turned brown, but these are a small minority. Last year most of the cottonwood leaves wilted before changing color, but this year the cottonwoods look normal—if still mostly green.

And though the leaves are turning a little later than usual in the valley, there’s already some nice color in spots—particularly underneath Middle Cathedral Rock—and it should only get better over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the best color in Yosemite can be found outside of the valley along highways 41 and 120, and in the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias. At these higher elevations—around 5000 to 6000 feet—the dogwood leaves often turn shades of red that you don’t commonly see in the valley. And they change earlier than the valley trees, so they should be turning right now. I haven’t been to these spots lately, but heard a report that there’s some good color along Highway 120 between Crane Flat and the entrance station.

See all of Michael’s posts and some of his photos at: In the Moment: A Landscape Photography Blog

Pete Devine at Yosemite Nature Notes Blog: Click or Treat reports

It’s a great time for photography in Yosemite. Though the sugar maple has gone bare, the big-leaf maples, dogwood and dogbane are really bright now, if you’re in the right places. Oaks and cottonwoods are waiting their turn in the Valley. The Crane Flat and Hetch Hetchy areas are really colorful now.

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