Fall in San Diego: golden light and double rainbows

Remember that you still have a little time to purchase one of my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) as a holiday gift. Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Today I want to take a little time to share a few photos I took recently. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. The temperatures have been steadily dropping down in San Diego and we’ve had far from perfect weather these past few weeks. Fall is definitely here in San Diego.

It first started with a lot of clouds and a lot of wind, but no rain. Here’s what the golden hour looked like behind my house a couple of weeks ago. Can you believe not a single drop of rain fell on that day?

Golden hour in San Diego in the fall
Golden hour in San Diego in the fall

Since then, the skies have been covered with clouds, most often white puffy ones, but sometimes very gray ones. Here’s a golden sunrise behind my house from a few days ago. This is quite unusual for this time of year.

Golden sunrise in San Diego
Golden sunrise in San Diego

We had a ton of rain this past Saturday. The temperatures didn’t go above the 50s and I just kept shivering the whole day. But look what showed up when the rain stopped: a double rainbow! You may think it’s no big deal, but we very rarely get rainbows in San Diego (maybe two a year) and never in December. And a double rainbow? That’s once every few years. Lucky me!

Double rainbow in San Diego - December 2013
Double rainbow in San Diego – December 2013

Since this weekend, we’ve experienced some frigid temperatures (upper 20s overnight). This is terrible for the million-dollar California crops, and probably just as bad for my snapdragons in the backyard.

But cold temperatures and a few clouds can make for another pretty sunrise. This is what I went outside to photograph yesterday morning at sunrise. Brrrrr…. but it was worth the shot.

Fall sunrise with blue sky and clouds in San Diego
Fall sunrise with blue sky and clouds in San Diego

How is the weather treating you where you are? Are you getting snowed in in the East Coast and the Midwest? Are you freezing in the Northwest? Is Florida even spared from this early winter?

Festival of leaves – week 2 – Sycamore tree leaves

Today I’m taking part in the photo challenge called Festival of Leaves (this is week 2). You can view my contribution to week 1 here. You can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

We have a lot of Sycamore trees in San Diego. And I mean, A LOT. They are quite resilient to our ongoing drought, as they let their leaves shrivel up when they run out of water in the heat of summer, preserving their energy for better times. The Sycamore tree leaves turn yellow then brown in the fall, not too exciting to photograph as is. But if you photograph the tree from underneath on a sunny day, you can play with the sunlight to get more interesting leaf colors. Here are a few shots of Sycamore tree leaves that are barely turning yellow and brown at this point.

Festival of leaves - week 2 - Sycamore tree
Festival of leaves – week 2 – Sycamore tree

Getting closer…

Festival of leaves - week 2 - Sycamore tree leaves
Festival of leaves – week 2 – Sycamore tree leaves

Bingo! Some nice yellow and brown Sycamore leaves for you.

Sycamore tree leaves in the fall in San Diego
Sycamore tree leaves in the fall in San Diego

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons

This week, the WordPress weekly photo challenge is all about Changing Seasons, something we view a little differently here in San Diego, California. We do get some frost inland, but no snow unless you start driving up the mountains (less than an hour drive).

The fall foliage is also sporadic but you can find some nice fall colors if you look around, like this American sweetgum. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons - American sweetgum
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons – American sweetgum

There’s a type of tree around here that displays beautiful yellow leaves in the fall. I don’t know what tree it is, but the dense yellow canopies are easy to spot. This tree is just starting to turn yellow.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons - yellow fall foliage in San Diego
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons – yellow fall foliage in San Diego

Here is a recent photo of a sumac tree, which features yellow, orange and red leaves in the fall, as well as red seeds.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons - Sumac tree in the fall
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons – Sumac tree in the fall

There are a lot of Sycamore trees in the San Diego area and their large leaves turn mostly brown in the fall, especially when the drought has lasted as long as it has.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons - Sycamore tree leaf
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons – Sycamore tree leaf

Finally, in a few weeks many trees will be bare, and if the fog continues to show up every morning as it these past couple of weeks, the view outside of my window in the morning will look like this photo below, the most wintry scene you can spot in San Diego!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons - foggy morning in San Diego
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Changing Seasons – foggy morning in San Diego

Enjoy more fall foliage with this American sweetgum

Besides the palm trees, the California sage brush and the many eucalyptus trees around San Diego County, you sometimes have to look a little harder to find some colorful fall foliage. I went back to check on my sumac trees this past weekend and I’ll have a few photos to share soon, but they’re not as yellow and orange as they should be yet. We also have a few maple trees here and there and I need to hurry snapping photos of them before they all lose their leaves.

But today, I’d like to share a few photos of another colorful tree in the fall in San Diego: the American sweetgum, or Liquidambar Styraciflua. My kids were attempting to dig a huge hole in the sand next to me as I was snapping pictures of this tree so I shortened my photo session. I’ll need to go back to get some more photos but here are a few for your enjoyment.

The American sweetgum has gorgeous deep red / maroon leaves and very cute green spiky seed pods. Remember you can click on each photo to view a larger image.

Red leaves of the American sweetgum, or Liquidambar Styraciflua
Red leaves of the American sweetgum, or Liquidambar Styraciflua
Fall foliage of the American sweetgum - red leaves and spiky seed pods
Fall foliage of the American sweetgum – red leaves and spiky seed pods

Do you have some American sweetgum trees where you live? Where do you get your fall foliage colors from?