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Author Topic: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020  (Read 23163 times)

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #210 on: October 19, 2020, 06:40:10 AM »
I am back from the USFS field trip. This was a very productive outing.

Retirement…

It is not going to happen.   :o No  8)

On this trip we visited two meadow/wetland restoration sites in Eldorado National Forest, one site of which is very dear to me. The eastern portion of this meadow is very degraded and presents considerable challenges transforming it into a vibrant botanically diverse system. In addition, a third site was discussed in which I already have some involvement.

My on going research and having my finger in these other projects will keep me very busy. Why retire when there are such stimulating projects to occupy my mind? Anyway… this diary may experience some twists and turns as I endeavor to keep it horticulturally relevant. There are certainly plenty of plant related topics to report on.

Now on to the present…

The current record, and near record-breaking, temperatures continue. The good news is that a cooling trend has started and will hopefully continue for the next 7 days. I see no precipitation during the next 7 days. It is so extremely dry!



This photograph was taken several weeks ago on Peavine Ridge. This site is typically very hot and dry during the summer and early autumn. The plants species are very well adapted to these extreme conditions.



However, there is much evidence of drought stress in this system.



In this photograph, one can observe the drying, brown lower foliage on Bear Clover, Chamaebatia foliolosa. This is a normal occurrence, but clearly I am monitoring the stress response of the species at this site. The light brown dried plant in the foreground center is Galium bolanderi. Some plants of this species have retained some green functioning foliage while others are completely dormant. This is a typical drought response of many of our xeric California native species.



One very fascinating fact at this site are the vernally moist seeps that host an interesting array of plant species some of which are rare and endangered.

Too be continued…
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 06:43:43 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #211 on: October 19, 2020, 11:30:36 AM »
It certainly  looks very dry, Robert! Although I appreciate sun and dry weather, especially during the summer months, I also appreciate very much some decent rain after a dry week. 2018 was an exceptional dry year here and I don't want another one .

This year 2020 has been different from the previous ones. The glaciers have not retreated as much as they usually do during summer (all of them have had a negative mass balance for many years). This is due to much snow last winter and a very cold May. However, nobody thinks this is a new trend but if we get a couple more winters like 2019/20 some glaciers will expand again.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #212 on: October 22, 2020, 05:48:40 AM »
Trond,

Your report on the glaciers in your region is very interesting. Cool weather, snow, and glaciers sound good to me. Although our daytime temperatures have backed off from record to near record high temperatures it is still unseasonably warm. Cooler weather will arrive however I see no precipitation in the next 7 days.



Today, I did a whirlwind, cursory survey of Wilson Meadow.



Conditions are extremely dry and it is very evident that the flora is drought stressed.



The main creek channel of Wilson Creek is deeply incised and the water table has dropped considerably. It is my understanding that the stage 0 restoration methodology will be used to reset the floodplain elevation of Wilson Creek. During periods of high snow melt runoff and flooding the creek flow will be spread over a much larger floodplain. The flood and snowmelt flow will spread over the expanse of the meadow and through many lesser channels such as the one pictured above.



Excessive water flow will be further slowed and sediments captured by plant species such as Salix orestera as pictured in this photograph.



Here Salix orestera is pictured in one of the smaller channels. Additional materials will be used in these smaller channels to further slow and spread the flowing water. If implemented properly, the native vegetation can be used very effectively to slow and spread the flow of water and capture sediments. In addition, the native vegetation can, and will, sequester carbon. Fertility and nitrogen levels will rise within the meadow system.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 04:42:18 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #213 on: October 22, 2020, 05:50:26 AM »


Despite the extremely dry conditions I found a few Gentiana newberryi var. newberryi in bloom.



I look forward to the successful implementation of the restoration plan. It is my hope that additional steps are taken to increase the floral biodiversity of Wilson Meadow. There are fairly simple and effective methods that can increase the biodiversity. I will see what happens over the next few years. There are many talented and skilled people involved in this project. I am very optimistic that there will be a successful out come.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 04:43:12 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #214 on: October 22, 2020, 05:28:10 PM »
We are having plenty of rain here in the new area. Hope you get some soon Robert.

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #215 on: October 22, 2020, 05:43:05 PM »
Yes, the stagnant weather pattern is now beginning to shift. I do not see any precipitation yet, but now that things are finally shifting our weather could change abruptly.

I will start posting photographs from a previous outing soon. Lots of work lately and some of the university stuff is opening up for me again. More study! More work! Oh well.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #216 on: October 23, 2020, 05:50:57 PM »
Yes, I hope your weather pattern changes soon but Yr says sun and warm weather the next week (would be a nice summer week here if we had weather like that). The rainy weather pattern continues here but it is rather mild though.

Good luck with your studies!

The foliage of this Norway maple is still almost green (but wet!).

676366-0
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #217 on: October 25, 2020, 04:35:05 AM »
Trond,

There has finally been a major change in our weather. Temperatures have cooled considerably. Currently no rain is in the forecast for our area, however the weather pattern is changing quickly. We will hope for precipitation, but first we must endure a major desiccating north windstorm. Everything is so dry.



I took this photograph of Stipa lemmonii var. lemmonii several weeks ago. I have since returned to this site. The flora is extremely drought stressed and will now have to endure a desiccating north windstorm.



Aspidotis densa is generally dry this time of year in the mid-elevations of the Sierra Nevada.



This specimen of Penstemon newberryi var. newberryi is extremely drought stress and is not likely to survive to grow next season.



The South Fork of the Rubicon River has been reduced to a trickle.



… And portions of the South Fork of the Rubicon River are completely dry
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #218 on: October 26, 2020, 12:08:56 PM »
Robert,

Glad to hear your weather is cooling. Hope you get some rain soon. We have the opposite situation. Rain is steadily pouring down. All creeks, lakes etc are filled to the brim.

Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Maggi Young

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #219 on: October 26, 2020, 05:34:54 PM »
Reading  of  yet  more  fires  in Northern California - and  power  cuts  as  well - not  good.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #220 on: October 27, 2020, 04:52:27 AM »
Hello Maggi,

Yes, I guess it is our turn, here in Northern California (and Western North America), to take the brunt of the anomalous weather. The firestorms that ravaged Australia last year were truly tragic. Drought, extreme heat, and firestorms are not the only intense weather events people are enduring on this planet. Climate change is severely impacting Alaska and many other places on the planet in a variety of ways.

Our electric power was restored only a few hours ago. It is so dry! Today in Placerville (in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains), the relative humidity was only 12.20%, with a dew point of 14.15 F (-9.9167 C)! This is not a rare for the western slope, however it is still extreme. To put things in perspective this amounted to 2.117 grams of water vapor per m3 of air. Tomorrow morning I will check on the data from the Sierra Nevada.



I took this photograph of Lyons Creek a few weeks ago. Last year at this time, this portion of Lyons Creek was still flowing with a trickle of water. Sadly, the dry portion of the creek extends quite a few miles up stream. This is very similar to what I observed during the drought years, 2011 into 2015.

I am working very hard to come up with solutions to ameliorate these situations, at least on a meso-scale (gamma meso-scale – not many km). I have a very long way to go, however I have also made progress. Recently, I at least received validation from one of my advisors to continue my independent research even if it is not taken seriously at this time. I have been assured that if I continue to refine and confirm and then reconfirm my findings somebody will eventually be interested. I guess this is my retirement – and a labor of love.

Anyway, I will continue to report on the flora of the Crystal Range and the Crystal Basin.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 04:54:20 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #221 on: October 27, 2020, 03:47:21 PM »
Keep at it Robert, the doubters always think they know best. As a colleague of mine said, you don,t see much from an armchair.

Robert

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #222 on: October 28, 2020, 05:06:39 AM »
Hi Ian,

Yes, I definitely will continue my research. Fully independent research has some advantages. Basically, I can follow any lead that I find pertinent and have a lot of room for creative thinking without the constraints of a research/grant contract. There are many extremely talented professionals that are constrained by the dictates of the company or the terms of a grant. I have a lot of freedom to do as I please, but then I have the challenges of self-financing my pursuits. I bet most would find me fanatically self-motivated, but then this is what I like to do.

Back at your old “Patch”, I gleaned many valuable ideas from your answers to my questions and following your diary. I was always amazed at the resiliency of the flora and fauna at your old Patch. It seemed that you were frequently reporting about a species that was near the edge of existence that found a safe refuge and niche at the Patch. I will very curious to see what your new location has to offer.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 05:08:38 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

cohan

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #223 on: October 30, 2020, 04:10:27 PM »
Cohan,

We frequently get air systems from east. I remember especially 26. April 1986 (Chernobyl disaster) and the following days. We got a lot of nuclear fallout due to easterly winds those days.

It can be very cold and dry in winter and warm and dry in summer!

Not a good time for Easterly winds! We sometimes get southeast systems in winter, which can be some of our coldest, oddly..

cohan

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Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #224 on: October 30, 2020, 04:21:42 PM »
Any signs of moisture yet? Seems inevitable there will be some serious flora changes.
Our dryish warm fall took a serious turn mid-month and we had snow snow and more snow. Now that it's warmed up again, we are having rain rain and more rain...lol trying to get out and cut wood in not too wet breaks, mostly going for dry standing wood, as anything horizontal is soggy... Next few days are supposed to be sunny, but they tend to forecast sun in advance that gets chipped away as it gets closer..

 


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