Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Search of Fall Colors

Autumn sneaks by here in So Cal---the skies remain sunny and blue, and temperatures still reach into the 70s and 80s, even at Thanksgiving. And with a dearth of deciduous trees here in the desert, very little gives away the season. Only the colored ribbon of Big Rock Creek wash belies this spring-like weather.

Thanksgiving weekend resulted in the first good snowfall of the year in the local mountains, just in time for the roads to open November 30. With a school fundraiser and Christmas on the horizon, a venture to Valyermo for mistletoe was in order.

The newly snow-covered San Gabriels made a beautiful backdrop to the wash of fall colors that give away where water runs off the hills to drain in the desert sand. We stopped along the road still west of Big Rock Creek wash, where the deciduous trees were a bright yellow and dry rusty red. Even the cattail reeds were beginning to bronze and rust.

Mts. Baden-Powell, Burnham, and Lewis.
"Been There; Climbed Those!"

West of Big Pines Hwy.

As I walked along the road, snapping pictures of the few autumn leaves we desert dwellers can actually see without driving long distances, DH climbed a few roadside trees. Among dead branches hung huge clumps of parasitic mistletoe, of which DH relieved the tree. DS gathered up the clumps in a trash bag. In a few minutes time, I had some pictures and they had enough mistletoe for the fundraiser. Just one of the reasons why we love living here!

Looking toward Mt. Williamson.

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