One simply has to photograph before the rains return. Our witch hazel which was so beautiful three days ago is now bare. But I should back up a bit . . . when we moved to Vancouver in 1975, we could not believe how brown and bereft the city was of the fall reds, oranges and yellows we so admired on the east coast. Apparently we were not alone. 35 years later we see quite a few different types of red leaves, a great variety of yellows, and of course the omnipresent wash of west-coast green.
I also visited UBC's Botanical Garden for an hour this afternoon. It was chilly, often breezy, but there were brief bursts of bright sun coming through the foliage. I think leaves are at their best when I see the sunlight coming through them, rather than reflecting off them.