Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We are half-way between solstices now. Sunlight shines on the park's peaks and canyon rims just before 7 a.m. It's frosty above 6000' in the low meadows at dawn. At Tuolumne and above bilberry is red, willows are yellowing. Smoke from the Slope Fire near White Wolf has tapered off. The Merced is down to 36 cfs at Pohono Bridge (still a tad above average). Fewer people are dipping in the river, but the Valley is still somewhat busy. Lessingia is the main flower still seen in Yosemite Valley. The famed sugar maple is still all green, but we see color starting in some dogwoods, bracken, sedges, and dogbane. Birds are quiet; year-round residents are mostly all that's left: raven, jay, chickadee.
I will be watching birds, etc. on the Conservancy's trip to Yosemite's two sister national parks in China for the next two weeks. I'll post from there if I can; otherwise it'll be towards mid-October for Yosemite updates.