WHAT'S MORE LIKELY... in the Golden State around the first or second week of winter? Coming across a surprise snowstorm, one that dumps a half foot of frosty flakiness? Savoring a sunshiny, 85-degree, break-out-the-swimsuit day? Or finding a massive, many-branched tree that's apparently at the peak of its fall-fabulous color? Let's be real: All of those things can happen at the end of the year, and do quite often, given the size, breadth, and big-a-tude of California; you might even experience all three in a day, depending upon where your car is headed. And while the high-elevation Sierra resorts schuss through some recently acquired snow, and the deserts bask in sunbeams, foliage fans are on the look-out for the last, truly last, and oh-so-final fall trees of the year. Because they do happen come late December, sometimes, maybe, if you're looking, specifically at our lower elevations.
CALIFORNIA FALL COLOR, the popular site that tracks when and where leaves are peaking, just posted a pretty tree from Pasadena on the day of the Winter Solstice. And the aloe of the LA County Arboretum is doing its dazzling thing, too (no, aloe isn't traditional maple or oak, but that's another gift of our state: Fall flora that runs the gamut from trees to succulents and beyond). But if you're ready to stow autumn's pleasures for another year, and dig into winter and all of its crispness, pause to take one more glance back, via video, at how autumn 2017 played out around California, from the Eastern Sierra to Plumas County and NorCal to the environs around Los Angeles and its nearby mountains. The photos are terrific, and serve as a reminder to leaf peepers that the start of their favorite season is just, oh, eight or so months away. Hang tight, leafies.