Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Outside with Charlie: Changing colors

By
From page A8 | October 02, 2013 |

Ferris_Charlie

Autumn blew into town on wings of wind, rain and snow last month. Now it’s time to take advantage of this wonderful time of year.

One of the big questions is about the aspens in the high country. Eagerly anticipated is the hope for annual show of reds, golds, yellows and browns in the aspen groves. The redstick dogwoods, cottonwoods, willows and birches all contribute to the palette of colors that will draw us up into Hope Valley, the Crystal Basin and Lake Tahoe.

It hasn’t really started yet. The place that lights off first in Hope Valley is Sorensen’s Resort. It’s a magical spot that seems to jump-start the entire show. While there are some colorful leaves beginning to show, it’s just the beginning.

The stretch of Highway 88 from Sorensen’s to the Iron Mountain turn-off is still green. The green isn’t the deep green of spring and summer. It’s the gray-green that signals the colors are on the way.

The entire process is partly a result of warm days and colder nights. The biggest key in this action is the steadily longer nights of autumn, which along with the shorter days, trigger the trees to start getting ready for winter.

The autumn colors are not guaranteed. There are some years when a trip through Hope Valley simply brings with it the sentiment that last year was better. The same holds true in the Tahoe Basin and up in the Crystal Basin. There is no way to predict the whole thing.

There are some indications along Forestdale Creek, at the base of Carson Pass, that a few of the aspen groves will go from gray-green to brown.

Most of Hope Valley looks really good. The same can be said of Tahoe. Within the next two weeks there should be a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen.

The best way to find the best colors is pack your lunch, fill up your thermos and gas tank and start wandering. Keep in mind that it may take more than one trip to catch the colors. Take your camera, too.

When the aspens are in full burst, taking a short hike through a brilliantly adorned grove is fantastic.

The smell of autumn is intense inside a thicket of aspens. Take your time. Look at the trunks. If you are in the right place, you’ll find markings from long ago.

You find these places by wandering aimlessly, exploring those little roads, and touring through the mountains. At the top of Luther Pass on Highway 89 just before you drop down toward Hope Valley is a pull-out on the Hope Valley side of the road. It goes all the way down into Hope Valley and ends at Picketts Junction, where Highways 89 and 88 meet. You have to walk it. Cars haven’t been allowed here for a long time.

Gear up, start wandering and get outside.

Comments

comments

Charlie Ferris

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

 
Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17