Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Up Higher on the Mountain

We've had some warmer weather, and I'm amazed how fast the snow has been melting. The snow level is already about 9800 feet, which seems fairly high for mid-May. It means it's easy to go up on the mountain without extra gear. Some of the aspens are just starting to leaf out.

And if we look closer, we can see a red-naped sapsucker working on a new home.

The flowers are out in full force, like this mountain butterweed (Senecio integerrimus). It's newly recognized common name is lambstongue ragwort. Sorry, but that's just not a good name for such a pretty flower!

I like the symmetry of the flowers.

Hidden down on the ground are mats of leaves with little whitish things hiding amongst them.

Upon closer inspection I can see some flowers hiding out among the three-leaved clover. This is a native species of clover, hollyleaf clover (Trifolium gymnocarpon). 

Another good indication that it's warmer is that the creeks are rising fast. The one above is a tributary that usually looks like it has a trickle of water going over that log.

Here's a link to a different creek not too far away that shows how it's gone from 1 cubic foot per second (cfs) to 15 cfs in about a month's time: Lehman Creek gage. It will get even higher before it peaks. 

Summer's coming, ready or not!

1 comment:

The Incredible Woody said...

I had no idea there were different species of clover!

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