Monday, March 14, 2011
The Wearing o' the Green
A lot of the recent snow is now gone from the floor of Yosemite Valley and run-off is picking up. The Merced River is now running at about twice its average volume for mid-March. We got a bit of rain last night and we expect more rain/snow off and on this week. It'll be a grand year for waterfalls with so much wet snowpack in our upper watersheds. Next weekend may also be stormy, with the snow level at or below Yosemite Valley. Frazil ice forecast: low-moderate probability for next weekend.
Meanwhile the foothills and Merced Canyon west of Yosemite are greener and greener with buckeye leaves still emerging. Redbuds are pinking, getting ready for their startling color show soon. Popcorn flower dominates at ground cover level, poppies are coming along, false goldfields and fiddlenecks are looking good. The Hites Cove Trail is well worth a stroll now - yes, even if it's on a rainy weekend; you'll see more newts and hear more chorus frogs singing love songs.
The Ahwahnee re-opens on Thursday, in time for St. Patrick's Day. Meanwhile, we send seismic sympathies to the people of Japan for the blow that the restless earth has dealt there.