Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aeolian transition

As did much of the West, Yosemite had a strong windstorm last week. The park had closed the Tioga Road in anticipation of problems and there were indeed numerous lodgepoles felled in the area near the Mono/Parker Pass trailhead (almost at treeline) and a few elsewhere. In Yosemite Valley there were some trees thrown down and many branches flung on Wednesday night. The last of the deciduous leaves were stripped off, though the Cascades area must've been a calmer pocket as there is still color there.
Along the FourMile Trail several large trees were knocked down (photo).
For the first time in many months the Merced River has dropped to below average flow and is as low as it's been in 14 months.
Six species of woodpeckers were observed by my birding group on Saturday, and a seventh just after we split up. Now we await the snows and look forward to getting out in the winter world.
Get up early on Saturday morning to find a spot where you have a good view of a low western horizon. The earth's shadow will eclipse the full moon as the moon sets; you should see it turn reddish-orange as the sky brightens to day.