Saturday, March 21, 2009

Poppies, Redbud, and the Return of Winter

The National Weather Service is predicting a cold, wintry storm to reach Yosemite tonight and tomorrow. The snow level will be high—7500 to 8000 feet—to start, but it's expected to drop as low as 3000 feet on Sunday.

A storm like this always provides good photo opportunities, especially as it's clearing (probably Sunday afternoon or Monday morning). But what will it do to the poppies in the Merced River Canyon?

Overall the poppies still look great. Some of the earliest-blooming spots in the burned area have started to fade, but have been replaced by others. More than replaced actually, as the overall acreage in bloom has expanded. Although the snow level with this storm is unlikely to drop low enough to snow on the flowers, it will still become cold and wet, which might cause some poppies to pack it in for the season. But I don't expect them all to disappear overnight.

Redbud are also starting to bloom in the Merced River Canyon west of Yosemite. Only a few have reached their peak color, but many more should come out in the next week or so.

The photograph above, Redbud and Oaks, will be one of the raffle prizes at the Sierra Foothill Conservancy's Spring Celebration tomorrow from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Michael and Jeanne Adams' house, 5054 Bullion Street, Mariposa. This should be a really fun event, and supports the great work that the Sierra Foothill Conservancy does, so I hope you can stop by if you're in the area. For more information email Bridget Fithian:

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