Friday, October 14, 2011

Foliage change

Rain ten days ago really swelled the Merced River. The historical average flow for last week was below 30 cfs. It had been running closer to 100 cfs, then leapt to over 600 after the rain. That the high country got snow showed in the nice 24-hour cycle of melt ebb and flow shortly after the storm. Our waterfalls are again looking exceptional for this time of year.
Ladybird beetles are on the move in this warm (moist) weather, with many swarming in El Portal the past couple of days.
A red-shouldered hawk, and a pair of great horned owls were heard in the volunteer campground in Yosemite Valley. A Say's phoebe was seen in Rancheria Flat.
Orion and Canis Major dominate the morning skies if you're out early and have a view to the south.
The sugar maple in old Yosemite Village has just started to show a tiny touch of color. At the Valley elevation, other than dogbane and some bracken, most color has not yet appeared. Alders skip the show and just start dropping their green leaves into the river when they're done, which is now.
Higher up you'll find aspen and bilberry being more colorful now. It should be a good weekend for getting out in the park.
Half Dome cables are down for the winter, Backpackers, Yosemite Creek and Crane Flat Campgrounds are closed for the season now.

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