SIGNS OF AUTUMN: A lot of things get said about California by people who don't live in California. It's true, right? We all acknowledge this? Yep. And solidly in the top ten happens to be this old refrain: The Golden State's seasons are lacking, particularly down south. It's not true -- we'd ever go as far to call it hogwash, if we wanted to get folksy -- but some out-of-staters believe what they want to believe (and what the movies tell them, which happens to be that we all live in bikinis and surf year-round here).
BUT... subtler seasons exists, and we're talking about the two seasons that are not summer nor winter. We have those well-covered here, on both end, thanks to Death Valley and Mount Shasta. Taking the helm on autumn reporting is John Poimiroo and his California Fall Color report. His blog has one of the best taglines -- "Dude, autumn happens here, too" -- and it gets some of the best on-the-ground, up-to-the-hour (or at least day) sightings of foliage around the state. It's start date runs around mid-September, as you'd expect, but it looks like fall might be making an early cameo in Plumas County, north of Gold Country.
GOLDEN LEAVES: Richard McCutcheon found some Indian Rhubarb in mid-change along Butt Creek in Plumas in early August. Very, very early August; Mr. Poimiroo posted the picture on Aug. 2. Yep, we've definitely had a cooler run this month in many pockets of the state, meaning that all of those leaf-peepers may be out hitting the Sierra and mountain roads well ahead of the usual October peak. Love your leaves, fall fan? Best keep checking at the California Fall Color blog. Who knows? There could be another August report or two if the unseasonal unsummeriness keeps up. And, yeah, it's true: Dude, autumn happens here, too.