First hints of fall in Tahoe

Doug Stoup of Ice Axe Expeditions enjoys a starry September evening as the edge of the Milky Way galaxy stretches out over the night sky above Lake Tahoe’s East Shore. Photography by Matt Bansak |, @Matt.Bansak.Photography

The first hints of Tahoe’s magnificent, but short-lived, fall season have begun to appear. The pine needles are falling, the trees are starting to change colors here and there, pods of windsurfers have returned to surf the afternoon swells brought on by the growing winds (soon it will be surfing season as swells reach heights to compare to the Pacific), and the last vestiges of wildflowers begin to shed their seeds.

I was among a group of hikers on a Trails & Vistas art hike recently that become transfixed by a thicket of fireweed as it shed its seed pods to be carried off by the breeze. The air was so thick with seeds that it looked like it was snowing.

Tim Hauserman also enjoyed the first glimpses of fall color during a trek through Coon Canyon to the top of Basin Peak, with sweeping views of Castle Peak, Round Valley and the Sierra Buttes for his feature on “Wonders of Coon Canyon & Basin Peak.”

The start of fall also means bears are in a mad rush to prepare for their winter hibernation, so it’s a good time to pick up a copy of one of Krissi Russell’s books that teaches kids to not feed bears and other wildlife, among other lessons. A South Lake Tahoe teacher and author, Russell recently released her third book, which is a bilingual version of “No alimente a nuestros osos | Don’t Feed our Bears.”

Former Publisher Kathryn Reed is now an occasional contributor for Tahoe Weekly magazine and wrote the story on Russell for her inaugural piece. I look forward to working with her on more stories about the Tahoe Sierra.