Monday, May 3, 2010
Dogwood Day Afternoon
Some late cold weather has stalled the dogwood blooms in Yosemite Valley a little this season; all but a few flowers are still green. It's my sense that the emerging bracts are 3-5 days behind a 'normal' spring's phenology. The one early tree that locals first look for is a few hundred yards below the former diversion dam on Highway 140. Its display is mostly white, but the bracts are still not full-sized.
This morning's birdwalk included the triple feature of three of our brightest neotropical migrants: oriole, grosbeak and tanager. The latter two were on the same flowery oak branch at one point. Best surprise: a California ground squirrel a good 30 feet up in a black oak near the Administration building.
Claytonia and Nemophila are adding some color (white) to the ground cover in the Valley this week.
Expected warmth for the next few days should bring the dogwoods into full glory by next weekend, and it'll bring the river up well over 2000 cfs again.