Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smoke and Heat

The Avalanche Fire is putting up a good amount of smoke from just above the western end of the Glacier Point Road and it finally feels like summer in the Sierra. This fire was caused by lightning and is just over 400 acres. It's burning at ground level in a healthy way and managers hope it'll burn at least 2000 acres.
The river and waterfalls are still running at unusually high levels, approximately 4-5 times the trickling volumes normally seen in early August. Yosemite Falls is still worth a photograph and Vernal is still all the way across the lip, and putting lots of mist on to the Mist Trail.
Birdlife has quieted considerably in Yosemite Valley. Orioles and grosbeaks are still around, but they are silent. Mule deer bucks have full, velvety racks now.
Coneflower, some tincture plant, lotus and milkweed are in bloom in the Valley - it's a great year for floral displays. The show has shifted to higher elevations where pentstemon, gentians and others are blossoming. Post-bloom, our native raspberries are ready for harvest in the Valley. Yum!

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