Eastern Sierra Fall Colors, Take Two

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When I thought about putting away the fall colors and going on to SNOW, my brain started rebelling. WAIT – there are still cottonwoods hanging on to their leaves even if the aspens have dropped theirs. And, you left some nice aspen photos that deserve a showing.

First Snow
First snow, September 27, 2014

I traveled with some photographer friends VERY early in the morning to catch sunrise near South Lake. We had planned a leaf trip, but were pleasantly surprised by snow!

First Snow 2

The sunrise wasn’t stupendous, but being in the mountains at 6:30 AM on a cold morning with others of like spirit was special.

First Snow 3

The snow didn’t stay around very long, but it provided nice snow melt for the next couple weeks down in the valley.

Cold Fisherman

Weir Pond provides a fishing spot for hardy souls this time of year (with non-leaking waders I hope).


The aspen’s white trunks are a good background for the deep pink leaves of what looks like dogwood and aspen shoots.

Pink leaves

Are these dogwood saplings? They are at about 9,300′ elevation near Parcher’s Resort – where I had the best breakfast that morning, near a wood stove with a lovely golden labrador dog keeping us company.

Owens River Canal

This canal is about two miles across the valley from the real Owens River. It’s one of the diversion canals for Los Angeles water, but still beautiful in the late afternoon sun. The speck in the sky is a raven flying by in the distance. The Eastern Sierras are in the far distance.

Dry Lake Bed

This little lake was dry the last time I drove through here. In the background in front of the White Mountains are four radio telescopes that are in the valley instead of up on the mountaintop with the rest of their friends.


This is one of the first cottonwood photos I’ve taken. There will be a few more as I report on Snowstorm # 2 in the near future. I love the use of mere sticks wound through the barbed wire to keep the cows in the field! Usually there are bulls on this side of the valley.

Aspens flowing

Aspen leaf bed

Two weeks after the September trip, the aspens were beginning to drop their leaves.

Golden water

Everywhere the eye could see was a beautiful sight. When days like that come to an end, at least I have the photos to remind me of their beauty.


Here is one of my favorite braking reasons on the way to the Bristlecones before the snow completely melted on the Whites. In the fall, the males (5″ long) migrate away from the females (who will eat them if given the chance). The spiders usually are traveling from north to south across the road. I still find it amazing to see these guys so clearly while driving!


While waiting for more favorable light, I noticed this bunny – frozen in place – as a photographer had stepped around the tree right behind him. He didn’t know what to do so he sat still for several shots and then the photographer clapped his hands and made him run. Thanks a lot mister!

Fallen bristlecone

The sun is beginning to set. There is still snow in places that you can’t see in this photo, but nice to have my boots in the shady spots where several inches of snow still laid on the ground.

The reward

The clouds cooperated by sticking around and causing some nice color in the sky. Both times I visited the Patriarch Grove of the Bristlecone Pine Forest this summer, it was balmy and lovely. A friend had told me they camped just four days before I was there in June and it was so cold and windy they thought they were going to be blown off the mountain. The elevation is 11,300′, so you’re never sure what you’ll get when you drive up there. This photo is a taste of an upcoming post of sunrise-sunset that is waiting in the wings.

3 Replies to “Eastern Sierra Fall Colors, Take Two”

  1. Omg, Barb, be still my heart! The aspens were just beginning to drop their leaves? Blew my socks off! Absolutely fantastic! Incredible eye, girl. Fabulous. Kisses, L. Sent from my iPhone



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