Sierra Foothills, Late Winter. February 27, 2016. Sierra Nevada Foothills, California. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
First growth of the season brings green to Sierra Nevada foothills in late winter
During late winter many parts of California undergo stunning conversion. During the previous summer the landscape dried out under summer heat. As summer turns to fall the heat does not immediately abate, and the landscape may reach its driest point. Then, in a normal year, the winter rains finally arrive. At first the changes — mud, mostly — don’t speak of spring, but at some point in the middle of winter plants again gain a foothold and begin to sprout everywhere. Short and very greens grasses spring up. Wildflowers begin to appear on the hillsides.
This photograph is of an area that seemed to be starting the late winter transformation. Though some trees are still leafless, the hills are otherwise covered with the first, short grasses. A few flowers have begun to appear on some of the chaparral plants. And beautiful light is everywhere. This begins a short but intense period of wild land growth here. The short grasses turn to lush, thick grasses. Wildflowers take over, and the leafless trees begin to show new colors.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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