Thursday, January 6, 2011
Yosemite Valley is quite frosty this week. Last week's storms left shin-deep snow on the Valley floor and it's persisting nicely. The snow is off the trees on the sunny north side of the Valley, but the shady side remains all white, top to bottom. Surface hoar is building in all the shade zone -endlessly pretty stuff.
At the same time that not much snow is melting, there's still a good amount of run-off from side streams. Horsetail, Ribbon, and Eagle Creek all are flowing on the surface into the river. Wosky Pond is full.
Ravens and steller's jays are active, as usual. A coyote has been begging at the intersection of 140 and the Big Oak Flat Road (the diversion dam, for those who remember that feature from 1917-2003).
Venus reaches its greatest western elongation this weekend, which means that if you're up early in the morning, it's high in the sky and you'll see it for a long time before the sun comes up. If you mark its general position relative to the sun, you can actually see Venus shining in the bright blue sky all day. At a maximum elongation (greatest angular distance from the sun in our sky) it's easier to see than when it's close to the sun.
Another bright point for Yosemite fans is the reappearance of the cult classic Yosemite Marching Band video on the web after over a year of absence. If you appreciate elaborate absurd humor, give it a look at: http://www.vimeo.com/18242035.