Thursday, August 25, 2011

Founders Day

The National Park Service was established on this date in 1916, and today's Director is announcing big plans to prepare for celebrating the centennial in 5 years. In Yosemite we are also planning diverse ways to observe the sesquicentennial of the Yosemite Grant in 2014. This was when the US government protected Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley (yes, 8 years before Yellowstone).
There was yet another regretable fatality in the park early this week, when a hiker fell from the top of Half Dome, down the face. No official story for how this happened has been released.
Some of us woke to an earthquake yesterday (24 August). After anomalous quakes in the prairie of southern Colorado then near Washington, D.C. in recent days, it was a little more exciting to hear the ground roar then feel it tremble for a moment here. Our event was from a 4.2 shaker, over near Mammoth Lakes on the East Side at 5 a.m. The hypocenter was 10 km beneath the Sierra, between the crest and Mt. Morrison.
The Merced River is low, but not as low as it usually is at the end of August. Yosemite Falls is still relatively impressive - far more people are taking photographs of it than ever do in typical August. Squirrels are shredding ponderosa cones. Bears are finding ripening apples, and though the eat pounds of them, their scat appears to leave a lot of calories untouched.

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