Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Wildflowers

Yosemite weather has been unusually cool and wet for the past two or three weeks. It's not uncommon to see afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, but it is highly unusual for it to rain almost every afternoon for close to three weeks this time of year. It makes me wonder how this moisture will affect the wildflowers. I have to believe it will help them, but since I've never seen this much rain before in early June it's hard to say.

Summer is usually the peak wildflower season in the Yosemite high country. Although early bloomers like shooting stars appear in June, flowers are typically most abundant in July at elevations between 7000 and 9000 feet. Heavy snow the previous winter can push this peak back into August. This past winter brought average snowfall, so I'd usually expect an average amount of flowers with the peak in July, but the cool and wet weather might delay the bloom and maybe, just maybe, make the flowers more abundant than usual.

The photograph above was made near White Wolf in July of 2004 after slightly below average winter snowfall.

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