Dave at The Home Garden is hosting The Fall Color Project, collecting posts from all over the country (and beyond) showing beautiful fall color. And while we can't compete with the blaze of golden aspens or red maples, many towns have planted liquidambar and Chinese pistache trees to delight the hearts of those starved for fall color.
But several California Native trees are deciduous as well, and some of them go out in a blaze of golden glory, highlighted by the evergreen oaks and the dark blue November sky. I had the great fortune to go on a hike last week in southern Santa Clara county near Gilroy, where I encountered three of the most beautiful Norther California fall color trees.
Below, a big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), showing off its stuff. The hanging lichen, still dry, will soon get green and make this maple look like Tree Beard.
Here, a close-up of the same type of tree taken almost a month earlier, at Tilden regional park.
Not far from the maples, we came across a deciduous oak that was turning a beautiful slightly reddish yellow. Based on the leaf shape, I believe this might be Valley Oak (Quercus lobata).
Walking on, we were struck by the majestic beauty of Platanus racemosa (California sycamore). Massive trees with attractive gray stems, ablaze in bright gold.
Especially enjoyable were the rows of walnut trees planted on the former ranch where we hiked. I'm not sure whether these are California walnuts or not -- the arrangement in rows clearly showed they had been planted -- but I can't resist showing them?
And maybe in close-up?
As we hiked, I enjoyed the smell of the leaves inviting memories from childhood, their rustling as I walked -- and the knowledge that soon, very soon, the winter storms would blow through, bringing an end to the color and a beginning to the fall growing season. Soon, the hills will turn green, and the long dry summer, and even the golden fall a memory.