Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes: Fall Report from the Sierra Nevada, Part II

No geology to speak of today, yet. Just color. Fall is a wonderful time in Yosemite National Park, and the colors happen so fast. I was in Yosemite only a week ago, and nothing remarkable was happening as far as fall colors were concerned. We made a quick trip on Friday, and driving from the Big Oak Flat Entrance to Crane Flat was a revelation.
Normally the drive up the hill to Crane Flat is an unremarkable drive through thick forest that serves as a prelude to an arrival in Yosemite Valley. This time, though, the Dogwood and oaks and wild roses were putting on the ultimate show of color.

The dogwoods are an understory species that sit unnoticed on the forest floor except in spring when the unique "flowers" bloom, and in fall when they provide much of the fall color in the deep forest. I somehow missed their bright red berries in years past.
We also came across these "berries" that looked to us like rose hips. Is this a wild rose? Inquiring minds want to know...
And yet, this color show that attracted all our attention was about to be eclipsed by what came next...that's in the next post, Act III of an extraordinary week!


yosemite faith said...

thanks for the views from 120 - that was our route into yosemite. we lived in copperopolis for 20 of the 30 years we lived in calif. one or both of us would usually be driving that into our beloved yosemite at least once a week.

Gaelyn said...

Gorgeous fall colors and bright berries. That looks like rosehips to me.

Anonymous said...

That is a rose hip! Wild rose hips are a great source of food. They make a fantastic jam and an excellent trail snack. Just be aware of the fuzzy pith around the seeds.