Friday, June 11, 2010
After its annual peak a few days ago, the Merced is easing back towards its regular channel, though it's still far higher than usual, still covering some trails. Half Dome cables are being installed next week, quite a bit later than usual.
Yesterday ranger Bob Roney and I watched ravens, Steller's jays and western tanagers all active in the afternoon near where Eagle Creek reaches the Valley floor. Suddenly Bob spots a male mountain quail speeding along the open ground of the Valley floor. I've encountered more of these than usual in the Valley this spring, all near the foot of the walls. Have they been displaced to lower elevation by the heavy snows and the delayed melt higher up? Is it the burned acreage of last summer's fire in Big Meadow that has bumped them in this direction? Is it just us getting out more this spring? It's been nice to be surprised by their querulous "kwerp!?" now and then.
I'll be in other parks for the next couple weeks, so apologize for a temporary hiatus in postings to late June.