Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No Ahwahneechee Apocalypse

For what we call 2013 the world continues on its way, no matter our contrivances. The Ahwahneechee did not predict a global apocalypse for this recent solstice, and they were right! Our physical cliffs endure and are not something that needs to be averted. In Yosemite, neither Half Dome nor Yosemite Falls noticed when we replaced old calendars with new ones. The one real change that occurred during our holiday scurryings was that the sun is starting to inch northward in where it rises and sets, and that each new day is a litle bit longer. To be more accurate, the sun isn't doing anything; it's our spot on the world that faces toward and away from the sun at a slightly different angle each day. Solstice is real to Yosemite, our calendars perhaps less so.
It's been quite cold in the park for a few weeks; there's snow and lots of ice in the Valley. Frozen waterfalls like Widow's Tears and Silver Strand (on the south wall, between Bridalveil and Tunnel View)are extra prominent and solid now. If you're thinking about a closer look, KC and JT tell me that Widow's Tears is the longest ice climb in the US.
Feathery worlds of surface hoar can be found in shady meadows early in the day. Small amounts of frazil ice have formed on some creeks. The snow cone at Upper Yosemite Falls is building steadily.
Badger Pass and Crane Flat both have healthy snowpacks for snowshoers and XC skiers. No one is ice skating on Tenaya Lake this winter.
Some of the Summer Triangle asterism is visible over eastern Valley walls before sunup. As Muir wrote it: 'each in its turn as the round earth rolls.'

No comments:

Post a Comment