A Beautiful Autumn in Yosemite

El Capitan, California black oaks, and the Merced River, 2007

El Capitan, California black oaks, and the Merced River, 2007

Since my post last week the fall color has multiplied, and it’s beautiful in Yosemite Valley right now. There are still some green leaves, so the color overall is just short of peak, but it’s already one of the best autumn displays I’ve seen in the park, with the black oaks, big-leaf maples, dogwoods, and cottonwoods all turning simultaneously. The oaks seem to be particularly nice this year. The accompanying photograph was made in 2007, but the oaks look just like that now.

Forecasts call for colder and wetter weather to arrive today and tomorrow. Precipitation is expected to be light, but temperatures will drop, and we may get a dusting of snow on those yellow and gold leaves Friday or Saturday. If the leaves survive the cold and possible wind we should have great color through the weekend and into next week.

—Michael Frye

Related Post: Autumn Progress in Yosemite

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBooks Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, and Exposure for Outdoor Photography. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.

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17 Responses to “A Beautiful Autumn in Yosemite”

  1. [...] Forecasts call for colder and wetter weather to arrive today and tomorrow. Precipitation is expected to be light, but temperatures will drop, and we may get a dusting of snow on those yellow and gold leaves Friday or Saturday. If the leaves survive the cold and possible wind we should have great color through the weekend and into next week. [...]

  2. Aram Langhans says:

    We were there last week, and it was great. The cottonwoods had not really started, except for a few here and there, but the maple and oak sure put on a show. I wish there had been some good clouds in the sky. Last Thursday it was a bit rainy, but other than that, mostly clear skys.

    Looked for you so you could autograph my book. :-)

    Now the process of working with all the photos I took while on this trip begins. We were gone 2 months, so have a lot to do.

    Aram

  3. Robert says:

    We were in the valley last week also, and also failed to come across you. Actually, that was one of the (many) nice things about this time of year in Yosemite – the relative lack of people. As first time fall visitors (previously been in spring), it took a while to adjust to the yellow meadows and lack of water. But we soon came to yet again appreciate the majesty of the valley.

    Photography-wise, there was a noticeable improvement in color as the week progressed. We found Friday to be by far the best day – it was also the clearest after the small amount of rain Thursday.

    Robert.

  4. Daniel says:

    Thank you, Michael, for the update.

    I was up in Yosemite last weekend and really enjoyed the colors and, as Robert mentioned, the lack of people. I loved the oaks, specially when they were backlit. The dogwoods were just starting to turn, so I might have to go back for more…

    Some of the pics I took are on my blog at http://blog.leu.org/2012/11/yosemite-valley-fall-colors.html

    • Michael Frye says:

      You’re welcome Daniel. It was rather quiet in the park last week. It seemed busier when I was in the valley yesterday, with more photographers around. You should come back if you can, as the color is better than last week.

  5. Doug says:

    Like I said in another post, we’re going up tomorrow. Looking forward to it in a big way. Hopefully snow and fall color together. Lots of interesting possibilities.

    Doug

  6. Nice photograph. You seem to be having the same scenario we are here in the Northern Sierra. Our Fall color started out rather mediocre for a long time, but now it has turned into one of the best years.

  7. Geoff says:

    Hi Michael, thanks for the ongoing reports. I was dying to make it up this weekend, but cannot. Do you think the color will lasts at all until next weekend? Or is it already browning out?

    Thanks,
    Geoff

    • Michael Frye says:

      Geoff, I think the oaks will last until next weekend, but I’m not sure about the other trees. Cottonwoods and maples were dropping leaves quickly yesterday after the snow Friday.

  8. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for rookie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  9. the mystery women LOL I can’t stop laughing… Marianne, Skylar I think out of all the girlfriends fans envy her the most because she’s living day by day normal just like the rest of us and its mostly like well if he can date her then he can date me..to me I feel like he fits more perfectly with her, in my opinion now I don’t know how everybody else feels about it but that’s how I see it.

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