As a native New Englander, I think of the fall season as a prolonged sunset, trees bursting in orange, red, yellow, and brown before retiring for the winter. I have been largely unimpressed by the fall colors in California, although I will admit the aspens’ golden show on the east side of the Sierra is quite splendid (just not on par with say, miles of maple trees waving multi-colored leaves in Vermont).
This year has been an exception. Not only did the aspen leaves fluctuate from stunning shades of amber to a brassy gold, but the moderately cold, yet relatively dry fall has enabled those photosynthesizing plants to retire in style! My morning commute up the river canyon has been decorated with vibrant color. Amber-yellow grasses highlight the banks of the Merced, while even the usual dull brownness of oak leaves seem imbued with an auburn tint. All my commute needs is a covered bridge, and I would be magically transported back to the New England falls of my youth.