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California's fall colors are off to slowest start in years. By now, there are usually blankets of gold.

California's fall colors are off to slowest start in years. By now, there are usually blankets of gold.
One of the rare outbreaks of high color, on Sagehen Meadows Road, south of Mono Lake. (Jeff Simpson)

Fall is making a surprising slow start in areas of California that usually see blasts of golds and oranges by this time of year, according to John Poimiroo, editor and publisher of CaliforniaFallColor.com.

Poimiroo uses correspondents throughout the state to file reports and photos that track the arrival of fall.

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Higher areas of the Sierra, mostly above 9,000 feet, are just now starting to see patchy conditions. Only Sagehen Meadows Road, south of Mono Lake, is at peak with orange and yellow aspen leaves showing.

Virginia Lakes reports patchy color. An early snow may have slowed fall's arrival.
Virginia Lakes reports patchy color. An early snow may have slowed fall's arrival. (Crys Black)

Poimiroo says that last winter's record snowfall, record heat in August and an early dusting of snow have combined to force the late start. Most years, the Eastern Sierra above 9,000 feet would be peaking at this time.

Some of the findings by Poimiroo and his network:

Mammoth Lakes Basin (8,500 feet) - Just starting (0%-10%)

Whitney Portal (8,374 feet) – Just starting (0%-10%)

Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery (4,000 feet) – Just starting (0%-10%)

Parchers Resort (9,260 feet) - Patchy (10%-50%)

Virginia Lakes (9,819 feet) – Patchy (10%-50%)

Sagehen Summit (8,139 feet) – Peak (75%-100%)

Upper Rock Creek (9,600 feet) – Patchy (10%-50%)

For more reports and photos, check out the website.

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