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Liquidambers turn purple or red, sycamores turn yellow-brown

Scattered showers best for San Diego's rainbows

Hundreds of sycamores can be seen in San Clemente Canyon along Freeway 52.
Hundreds of sycamores can be seen in San Clemente Canyon along Freeway 52.

Liquidambar Trees, or sweet gums, the deciduous trees gracing front yards, parks, and campuses throughout the San Diego area, have been putting on an exceptionally colorful show. The leaves of some varieties turn to purple or red; the leaves of other varieties fade to golden yellow. Still other varieties hold on to their green leaves until sometime in December. Most liquidambars in our area regain their light green foliage by late February

Sycamores, found in San Diego’s coastal and foothill canyons as well as in suburban and park landscaping, stand at their autumnal best this time of year. Stroll beneath their crispy, rustling canopies and catch the sunbeams scattering among their mottled trunks and yellowbrown leaves. Some of San Diego’s biggest native sycamores reside in Lopez Canyon, a part of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve near Sorrento Valley. Hundreds of sycamores can also be seen in Marian Bear Park (San Clemente Canyon) along Freeway 52 between University City and Clairemont.

Rainbow over the Children's Pool, La Jolla

“Rainbow Season” arrives with the first rains of late fall. Scattered showers are best for rainbow watching: sunlight refracting and reflecting through the raindrops causes two bows to appear: an intense circular arc at 42˚, and a bigger, but weaker arc at 51˚ from the antisolar point (the point in the sky diametrically opposed to the sun’s position). From November through mid-February, the sun never gets higher than 42˚ above the horizon as seen from San Diego, so (rain and sunlight permitting) the brighter of the two arcs may appear above the horizon at any time of day. In spring and summer, rainbows are never seen in the sky around midday because the sun is too high — and the antisolar point is too low.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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Hundreds of sycamores can be seen in San Clemente Canyon along Freeway 52.
Hundreds of sycamores can be seen in San Clemente Canyon along Freeway 52.

Liquidambar Trees, or sweet gums, the deciduous trees gracing front yards, parks, and campuses throughout the San Diego area, have been putting on an exceptionally colorful show. The leaves of some varieties turn to purple or red; the leaves of other varieties fade to golden yellow. Still other varieties hold on to their green leaves until sometime in December. Most liquidambars in our area regain their light green foliage by late February

Sycamores, found in San Diego’s coastal and foothill canyons as well as in suburban and park landscaping, stand at their autumnal best this time of year. Stroll beneath their crispy, rustling canopies and catch the sunbeams scattering among their mottled trunks and yellowbrown leaves. Some of San Diego’s biggest native sycamores reside in Lopez Canyon, a part of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve near Sorrento Valley. Hundreds of sycamores can also be seen in Marian Bear Park (San Clemente Canyon) along Freeway 52 between University City and Clairemont.

Rainbow over the Children's Pool, La Jolla

“Rainbow Season” arrives with the first rains of late fall. Scattered showers are best for rainbow watching: sunlight refracting and reflecting through the raindrops causes two bows to appear: an intense circular arc at 42˚, and a bigger, but weaker arc at 51˚ from the antisolar point (the point in the sky diametrically opposed to the sun’s position). From November through mid-February, the sun never gets higher than 42˚ above the horizon as seen from San Diego, so (rain and sunlight permitting) the brighter of the two arcs may appear above the horizon at any time of day. In spring and summer, rainbows are never seen in the sky around midday because the sun is too high — and the antisolar point is too low.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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