Thursday, October 7, 2010


Fall has been luring me to Plumas County, in the mountains of Northern California, for the past few years. Particularly to Indian Valley, and the settlements of Taylorsville and nearby Genesee. There is a little campground, and the air is crisp and clear after our sweltering California summer. And of course, there is the color. The trees are beautiful, of course, but the challenge for me has been the Indian Rhubarb along the banks of the Feather River. It sprouts from roots lodged between river cobbles in the spring to form huge, green leaves. In the fall they turn delicious colors ranging from yellow and orange through red. I've gotten some OK shots, but I have a vision of a group of plants at their fall peak contrasting with the cool colors of the flowing river. As much as I have slipped and slid around the slick cobbles and boulders, the reality of that vision has eluded me.

So be it. The frustration is soon soothed by the drive around peaceful Indian Valley. Besides the fall color both in the valley and flowing down the mountainsides, there are the 19th century ranch houses, barns, and various collections of weathering farm implements and vehicles that have been retired. It can take me most of a day to make the full circle.

The end of this month I will be heading up there again, hopefully to capture a good cover shot for the nice folks at the Plumas County Visitor's Bureau. You can check out their website for tips on timing and places to visit for good color. For other Northern California fall color opportunities, there is a good article in the San Francisco Chronicle, whose author was astute enough to use one of my photos.

And I think I might take some waders along this time and have another shot at realizing my Indian Rhubarb vision.

Here's a slide show of the Taylorsville and Indian Valley area.

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