Thursday, April 16, 2009

Travel Thursday: Occidental Color

Liquidambar Leaves

About an hour and a half north of San Francisco, Occidental is a small community nestled in the hills near Sebastopol and Bodega Bay. Mrs. Generik's sister and her husband and sons live on some mountaintop property there, along with some apple trees, pines, a few cows and various forms of wildlife. When we go up there for Christmas in December, the liquidambar trees are always a riot of color. Here are a few examples.


Leaves II

Leaves I


Leaves & Branches

Leaves IV

Leaves III


Tom Hilton said...

Who says we don't have any fall color in California? Okay, not much...but still.


Generik said...

And of course, by "fall" we mean "the middle of winter," but still. Liquidambar trees are the one of the few season-saving graces in this state when it comes to color.

ahab said...

I saw these earlier but didn't have time to comment.

I love how the tree has leaves in various colors at the same time. We have all kinds of fall color up here, but rarely on the same tree!

Really nice shots.

Donna said...

great color and I'm really digging the shapes of the leaves! What, they were like that when you found them?

Generik said...

Donna -- I don't know if they grow in other states (I suspect they probably do, at least out here in the West), but liquidambar trees are, to my mind, some of the most beautiful trees around when it comes to fall coloring. The shapes of the leaves are similar to maples (esp. Japanese maples), and it is not uncommon to see red, yellow, orange, pink, purple and green leaves all on the same tree when they start to change color. During the spring and summer, they are bright green. Once they start to change, though, it's like a rainbow forest. Where I grew up in Southern California, and throughout that part of the state, liquidambar trees line the majority of the residential streets in the suburbs. They're one of the few natural ways we Californians have to let us know the seasons are actually changing.

Generik said...

On further research, apparently they're found mainly in the Southeast.

Huh! Who knew?

Donna said...

damn, I want all the tree varieties here!
For awhile my Italian friends were renting a house (converted 15th century convent -- way cool) in the middle of an olive orchard (? grove? forest? farm?). Those silvery leaves are gorgeous -- yet another tree that won't thrive in the NE. sigh