Freeze: Despite the clear signs of spring, we are not beyond snow season yet. Vernal equinox is next Wednesday, but we still have two months of snowfall potential. Frazil ice maximum in Yosemite Valley is still a month away. Skiers have three more weekends to enjoy skiing at Badger Pass.
Thaw: In the lower canyon flowers grace the terrain with orange poppies, white popcorn flower, baby blue-eyes, and even the redbud are emerging in their unique purple. Kinglets, flickers and Bewick's wrens are singing this morning, and three species of swallows have returned to El Portal. Buckeyes are greening up. Armadas of white-throated swifts are already sweeping the skies up to 5000'.
Freeze: Despite the scant snow, Tioga Road won't open any earlier this year. To cut costs during the current federal cutbacks, NPS will delay the start of plowing. XC skiers are still gliding at Crane Flat.
|Lyell West Lobe|
Thaw/freeze: Comet Pan-STARRS is visible very low in the west after sunset. It's not easy to get a low enough horizon in Yosemite to see this comet in the twilight. Binoculars are key to spotting this comet, which will fade over the next couple of weeks.
I'm excited about a special program on April 13 that brings together Muir's great-great-grandson and a Muir actor for a day of roaming John Muir's haunts in Yosemite Valley. This will be a fun way to experience history in person.