Friday, September 23, 2011


Happy, Balanced Equinox.
The Yosemite Facelift is underway and there are hundreds of volunteers deployed all over the park to clean it up. It's a very impressive endeavor, started by Yosemite Climbing Association and successfully grown into a significant success story.
Tony Carlstrom reports observing a California ground squirrel wrestle, subdue and kill a chipmunk atop Sentinel Dome on Tuesday. The chipmunk's body was then dragged off by the squirrel. This kind of gruesome aggression is not something we generally expect from those little snack-beggars. I have observed California ground squirrels feeding on road-killed squirrels in Yosemite Valley.
Rangers at Hodgdon Meadow watched a mountain lion kill a mule deer buck a few days ago. Local bucks are still in velvet but have full grown racks. Lions generally prefer easier prey than large adults males approaching rutting season.
Red columbine still in bloom in the "Ice Cut" on the JMT near Nevada Fall, along with waterfall buttercups.
Afternoon clouds massing from the crest toward the west these past few days.

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