Fall colors continue to make themselves known at one of California’s most beautiful and pristine areas.
Last week, Mammoth Lakes Tourism shared new images of the changing landscape in the Sierra Nevada.
Earlier this month, leaves were beginning to shift toward an amber hue as some began to fall from the trees. Those leaves that stayed around are now undergoing the yellow-to-orange transformation, delighting visitors to Mammoth Lakes.
In the Tioga Pass area, about 9,500 feet above sea level, green grasses are already giving way to strands of gold, and bushes and shrubs aren’t far behind.
At the Mammoth Lakes basin and near Twin Lakes, bushes are already changing colors, leading the way ahead of other vegetation. The area, which is about 8,500 feet above sea level, is only witnessing the early stages of color progression, with less than 10% of plantlife undergoing the seasonal change.
“The aspen trees are mostly lime in color, but with a few yellow patches,” a representative for Mammoth Lakes Tourism said.
During the summer growing season, leaves are actively producing chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. When the seasons shift to fall and days get shorter, the leaves stop producing chlorophyll and other pigments become visible, including the yellows, reds and purples we associate with fall.
Botanists predict a vibrant and visual fall transformation in California this year, thanks to a wet winter and spring leaving behind a lingering snowpack; but they admit the length of foliage seasons can be hard to predict.
The official tourism site for Mammoth Lakes has a guide of when and where to find the fall colors. The California Department of Parks and Recreation also has maintains a list of state parks where the changing leaves will be on full display.