12 de febrero de 2009

Polemonium

One of the most outstanding flowers in the Sierra. You only see it above 12,000 feet. Incredibly fragrant. Look for it in late June, early July on alpine passes: Kearsarge, Glen, Forester etc.

Ingresado el 12 de febrero de 2009 por gdurkee gdurkee | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

Sierra Lily opening

We'd stopped for lunch at a small stream and watched this Lily actually open in the hour we were there. Very cool.

Ingresado el 12 de febrero de 2009 por gdurkee gdurkee | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Fire spreading at alpine elevations

This was a pretty interesting fire. I've often seen small areas of alpine trees (Foxtail, Whitebark etc) scarred by fire. But when you look at the ground fuel, you wonder how a fire is carried tree to tree. Alpine trees often grow in clumps and are surrounded by sand or rock. Fires usually spread along the ground and then burn into a bunch of trees, where it burns hotter. With no ground fuels, how do you get extensive areas burned?

Here, some hikers probably started an accidental fire either by burning toilet paper or perhaps an illegal campfire (not allowed above 10,000 feet). It looks like it burned into some rotting log; caught flame in a stand of Foxtail and years worth of dead branches and pine needles at the base of that clump. The wind then blasted it uphill to other clumps with similar amounts of dead needles and branches. When I got there, the wind was still whipping the flames along and spreading rapidly clump to clump. When the wind died down, the spread mostly stopped.

If the wind hadn't stopped, it likely would have burned into a fairly narrow gulley that a major trail comes down. If this were a lightening caused fire, the Park Service would likely have let it burn. Such fires are natural. However, because it was human caused and had the potential to close a major trail, the decision was to send a crew in and put it out, which took two days.

Ingresado el 12 de febrero de 2009 por gdurkee gdurkee | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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