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Author Topic: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California  (Read 20603 times)

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #615 on: September 14, 2017, 12:55:11 AM »
The Sierra Nevada has experienced intense thunderstorms with large hail and heavy rainfall over the past 5 days.



I photographed the building storms on Peavine Ridge today at about 2:30 P.M.



This intense storm was south of highway 50.



It is easy to trace the path of the intense hailstorms by following the path of debris. In some areas large numbers of green needles and leaves could be seen on the ground.



Pyramid Peak, the southern most peak of the Crystal Range, was just north of the thunderstorm I observed today.



An example of the heavy rain falling.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #616 on: September 14, 2017, 01:48:00 AM »
Magnificent hiking country, wonderful plants and certainly an adventure Robert.  Photography while hanging wedged in a crevice is quite a feat ::) 
'Envy' sounds negative :P but I'm envious ;D
Thanks for taking us along.

Hi Ashley,

Yes, I admit the whole outing was a lot of fun. Getting the photograph was an interesting situation. I had to swing myself out from the cliff face and hold the position while to took the photograph with one hand. Holding myself out from the cliff was easy. Getting the photograph in focus with one hand was kind of a guess and by golly situation. Considering the situation it turned out okay.

Envious?  When I was a teenager I wanted to go to Alaska. I was envious of Dick Proenneke and his life at the Twin Lakes Wilderness in Alaska. 8) Maybe inspired. I always had dreams of going off to some far away land for adventure. I ended up finding adventure and much more right in my "backyard".

I have no shortage of fascinating places to go.  I intend on continuing with the botanical adventures.  :)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 01:57:06 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #617 on: September 14, 2017, 03:45:40 AM »


I was up at Loon Lake a few days ago checking up on the flora around the lake.



Most of the action was on Chipmunk Bluff, a south facing ridge above the South Fork of the Rubicon River.



The usual late summer blooming species were out. Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium was looking good. The plants along Meyers Grade (Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe) near Echo Summit were looking even better the other day. Some Castilleja (maybe Castilleja applegatei) were also in bloom. Highway 50 is a major thorough fare, so stopping to have a look is impossible, but the scene was quite lovely.



Ericameria cuneata var. caneata is looking great on Chipmunk Bluff. I would love to cultivate this species in our garden, however I have not had any success to date. I am having some success with a few other Ericameria species grown from seed, so there is hope.



Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum is at its prime too. Those on Chipmunk Bluff produce large quantities of flowering stems. This definitely attracted my attention.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 03:47:19 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #618 on: September 16, 2017, 01:11:47 AM »


I was at Wrights Lake today. The weather was pleasant, 55 F, 12.8 C at 2:00 p.m.



It was a beautiful day to be in the mountains.



This is a view to the northeast. The slanted ridge is where the Red Peak Stock Trail is located. This is where I hiked on my outing about 10 days ago.



There is still a good flow of water leaving Wrights Lake.



There was a bit of convection, with a few sprinkles.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 01:18:11 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #619 on: September 16, 2017, 01:14:42 AM »


Despite a considerable amount of rainfall in this region during the last week, the meadows are still brown. This is completely normal for this time of year.



Autumn will be arriving soon and the foliage of Veratrum californicum var. californicum is tattered and tired. Soon they will be going dormant.



Many plants are showing bright berries this time of year. The berries on Lonicera conjugialis are looking good now.



The late blooming species, Symphyotrichum spathulatum is still flowering. Despite the cool temperatures there was still a considerable amount of insect activity. This Hymenoptera was resting on one of the flowers.



I finally got a good photograph of a Clouded Sulphur, Colias philodice, with its lemon yellow wings.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #620 on: September 16, 2017, 01:16:18 AM »


In a little over 10 days I have my next outing planned for the cirque on the north flank of Mount Price. It will be deer hunting season and this is a reasonably safe place for me to travel.

The following weather data from the El Dorado County farm.

So far this summer we have recorded 24 days 100 F (37.7 C) or more. The average is 12.5 days. It is possible, but not likely, that we might add to this total.

There have been 84 days 90 F (32.2 C) or more. The average is 72.4 days. Most likely we will add to this total.

The summer of 1988 was extreme. There were 29 days 100 F (37.7 C) or more. July of 1988 averaged 81.85 F (27.69 C), this is the monthly average of both high and low temperatures.

The summer of 2008 was also extreme with 103 days 90 F (32.2 C) or more.

We recorded 62.59 inches (1,589.79mm) of precipitation for this rainfall season. This is the 4th wettest season recorded in El Dorado County.
#1 1982-1983 – 72.85 inches
#2 1981-1982 – 63.64 inches
#3 1892 -1893 – 63.54 inches
#4 2016-2017 – 62.59 inches
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 01:21:02 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Diane Whitehead

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #621 on: September 17, 2017, 04:58:05 PM »
Robert,

I can understand the temperatures, but the rainfall data I find confusing.  Does it rain in the summer?
What is the "rainfall season"?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 05:00:24 PM by Diane Whitehead »
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #622 on: September 18, 2017, 06:39:59 PM »
Hi Diane,

There are several ways to analysis the rainfall season in California. I use an older method, 1 July to 30 June.

Basically there is little or no rainfall from 1 May to about 15 October in our part of California.

The Sierra Nevada can get some rainfall during the summer. This summer we had a somewhat active monsoonal season. There were some intense thunderstorms with large hail, heavy rain, and even a waterspout was sighted at Lake Tahoe last week.

I hope that I have answered your questions. Feel free to ask any other questions for clarity.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #623 on: September 19, 2017, 04:47:18 AM »


The first autumn-like storm is coming in from the Pacific Ocean. This photograph was taken today at Echo Lake. It was 52 F, 11 C, at 2:00 P.M.

Echo Lake is located a short distance from Echo Summit, the main highway route from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe. Echo Lake is also perched on top of the escarpment overlooking the South Tahoe Basin and the drainage of the upper Truckee River. The water drains from Echo Lake into Lake Tahoe, from there it exits the north end of the lake and drains into Pyramid Lake in Nevada. There is not drainage from Pyramid Lake.



Flagpole Peak, 8,363 feet (2,549 meters), is located above the eastern shore of lower Echo Lake, 7,414 feet (2,260 meters). From the top of Flagpole Peak there are beautiful vistas of South Lake Tahoe. Above lower Echo Lake is Upper Echo Lake. When I was a teenager there was a Boy Scout camp at the northern end of the lake. This was a great place to spend a week or so. It was a base camp for backpacking trips into Desolation Valley (on the east side of the southern Crystal Range). While everyone was getting merit badges I was in the wilderness.



Horsetail Falls.

Pyramid Creek drains Lake Aloha. From Lake Aloha the creek enters American Lake, eventually to Ropi Lake, and to Avalanche Lake, before cascading over Horsetail Falls. From there the creek enters the South Fork of the American River.



Lovers Leap (left) and the canyon of the South Fork of the American River. The first light snowfall is expected in the next few days. If it does snow it will not last long. Warm 32 C weather is expected to return to the Sacramento Valley in about a week.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 05:03:15 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

hamparstum

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #624 on: September 19, 2017, 11:26:20 AM »
Robert! I'm very interested with your weather data. I was wondering about your occasional summer monsoonal thunderstorms. Do they result of warm humid weather coming over the rockies, from the east? In this part of the world with a very similar weather pattern, in summer we get a few rainy thunderstorms with easterly winds, sometimes just a few thunderbolts and no rain. Our regular rainy season that starts in fall, comes over the Andes with westerlies from the Pacific ocean. I wonder if the weather pattern is the same....
Those occasional rains in summer could explain, those mesic highland species plus keeping dormant geophytes slightly moist, even downhill.
Arturo
Arturo Tarak

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #625 on: September 19, 2017, 03:15:21 PM »
Arturo,

Our summertime monsoonal weather comes up from the south. Generally it will come up from Baja California / Gulf of California / southern Pacific Ocean, however it can also come all the way from the Gulf of Mexico via Arizona. The "Four Corners" high pressure creates this circulation pattern.

Below are two weather related graphs that I thought you might enjoy. They are 30 years graphs - data from the Placerville farm in El Dorado county. I have all sorts of weather data and statistics for the farm. I can try to convert them and share them too.



Annual precipitation graph in inches.



Average annual temperature graph in Fahrenheit.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Diane Whitehead

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #626 on: September 19, 2017, 06:42:27 PM »
Thank you, Robert. 

I am relieved to see that the 62 inches of rain you mentioned took a whole year to fall. 

Diane
Diane Whitehead        Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ed Alverson

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #627 on: September 20, 2017, 06:29:31 AM »
For fellow weather nerds, this link: http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/us_comp/movie-large.php?loop=true takes you to a 7 day loop of satellite imagery of the United States as well as much of Mexico and Canada. You can see the jet stream that is now bringing in a wintery storm track from the north Pacific. Earlier in the past week there was some of that summer monsoonal moisture in the southwest and adjacent Mexico as well. And you can see multiple hurricanes, both in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Ed
Ed Alverson, Eugene, Oregon

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #628 on: September 20, 2017, 02:45:16 PM »
Becoming a weather nerd might be contagious.  ;D  Before my wife and I married, I had thermometers all over the farm. There were thermometers in the farmhouse, there were thermometers outside, there were thermometers in all the autos (before the days when many autos had built-in thermometers). She thought this was a bit strange – like, should I marry this nerd? What am I getting myself into? Well today it is my wife who insists that we have thermometers in various rooms of the house, as well as outdoors. The caveat is they must the accurate mercury thermometers! I am still not “off the hook”. She still gives me a bad time about the barometer. She calls it Rachel, as in Leah and Rachel. “So, you’re going off to see Rachel again?” I also get a hard time over all the samples I keep too (rocks, dried plants, etc.), but that is a different story.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #629 on: September 20, 2017, 04:32:02 PM »
Ed,

NASA WORLDVIEW is a  8) site too.

https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=geographic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,MODIS_Fires_Terra&t=2017-09-05&z=1&v=-129.05633174564224,41.95311957137466,-117.80633174564224,47.34081488387466

Tracking the smoke from all the western U.S. forest fires was interesting. Some of the smoke traveled as far as the Great Lakes! I understand that the smoke (and heat) was terrible in the NW. It was smoky here in California, however maybe not as extreme.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

 

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