During last weekend’s snowstorm I saw maples and cottonwoods dropping leaves in bunches, and wondered how much fall color would survive. But while teaching a private workshop yesterday I saw that there was still some good color in Yosemite Valley. The oaks are in great shape, as you can see from this photograph in El Capitan Meadow that I grabbed yesterday afternoon. Most of the dogwoods also kept their leaves and their color. But the maples are now mostly bare, and some of the cottonwood leaves changed from vibrant yellow to rusty brown. Strangely though, some dogwoods, cottonwoods, and oaks are still partially green. We even saw some dark green cottonwoods near Swinging Bridge—an odd sight for November 14th.
While the peak color has passed, those green leaves suggest that we might still see some good fall foliage in the valley for another week or two. It’s been a strange, late, yet beautiful autumn in Yosemite.
— Michael Frye