We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020  (Read 23164 times)

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #225 on: November 01, 2020, 05:30:34 AM »
Hello Cohan,

There have been some major changes in the weather pattern, however rain is still elusive. There has been a very persistent high pressure system in the eastern Pacific shifting any rainy weather into the Pacific Northwest. Yes, it is extremely dry! Absolute humidity calculated from my data recorders in the Sierra Nevada is averaging ≈ 1.5 grams / m3 over the last few days. Some days the total has been < 1.0 gram / m3. The free atmosphere has been equally dry. The last measurable precipitation in the Sierra Nevada was on 18 September and the last meaningful precipitation was on 13 June. Of course, the Eastern Sierra Nevada did receive some monsoonal moisture during the summer. Their precipitation totals are slightly higher.

As for major shifts in our flora…  Unmanaged sites are frequently extremely resilient to rapid change. I monitor such things extremely closely and I do not see many indications that a major shift is occurring. Transient shifts are more or less to be expected. This situation could change. I am currently analyzing a pronounced shift in the long-term climatic pattern in the Sierra Nevada. I have a reasonable idea (theory) that explains this shift, however I want to very carefully analyze all the data from a number of different perspectives. i.e. I am in no hurry and want to make sure that I have analyzed everything correctly. As for managed sites, they are a completely different story.

BTW – Dynamic numerical forecasts (the basis behind media forecasts) are fairly accurate out 4 maybe 5 days. With stable weather more, with changeable weather maybe less. Read up on the pioneering work of Ed Lorenz and Chaos Theory to get an idea of what forecasters are up against. I can do a fairly accurate forecast out 3 to 4 days via wind field analysis using Taylor Expansion. Actually, one can be somewhat accurate just eyeballing vorticity, stretching deformation, shearing deformation, etc. Since I am more focused on how climatic variables impact specific plants and plant communities I frequently do not put much effort into 7-day forecasts. Longer-term forecasts are much more relevant to my projects.



I was up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the other day. Yes, it is extremely dry and unseasonably warm. Today’s, 31 October, high temperature tied the record for this date. I am sure some high temperature records were broken in our region.



In this photograph one can see the lingering smoke in the Central Valley and the lower portions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.



We are getting a tiny amount of autumn color. Anthocyanins are pronounced in this specimen of Quercus kelloggii. Yellow coloration due to carotenoids is more frequently observed in this species. This year most of the leaves are turning brown and will cling to the twigs into the spring.



At this site, the population of Eriogonum prattenianum var. prattenianum is very drought stressed. This is a tough species; at this time it is very likely that most of the plants at this site will easily survive the dry conditions.



Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum is growing out of the center of this specimen of Eriogonum prattenianum. This Castilleja species is also very resilient to drought.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 05:33:07 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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3401
  • Country: ca
  • forest gnome
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #226 on: November 01, 2020, 07:23:34 PM »
The (Environment Canada) forecasts for this area (where we rarely have really consistent weather for any length of time at any season) tend to be better on temperature than precipitation-- looking at a few days to a week out, the temperature forecast will change twice a day, in the end usually within a few degrees C of the original forecast, not always, of course. Precip is worse-- they often start with a stretch of sunny days forecast with the clouds progressively creeping in as the days get closer, precip added later. Forecast rain often doesn't happen; snow is usually more and more often than forecast.

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #227 on: November 05, 2020, 05:05:10 AM »
Hello Cohan,

You are spot on! Yes, it is much more difficult to make accurate 7-day forecasts for precipitation than for temperature.

Currently we are experiencing record to near record high daytime temperatures. The good news is that it appears that there will be cooler temperatures and some precipitation during the next 7-day time period. The dynamics are not perfect, but I will take whatever we can get.

Right now I am in a race to gather the last bits of data and make end of the season observations - flora/plant communities - from the high elevation sites in the Sierra Nevada before deep snow accumulations occur (maybe wishful thinking this year – I have my reasons for not going along with the NWS seasonal forecast for above average precipitation and below average temperatures.) Once snow and winter conditions set in I can spend the winter analyzing and modeling the information.
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3853
  • Country: no
  • Rogaland, Norway - We used to have mild winters!
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #228 on: November 05, 2020, 09:22:20 AM »
I think the weather forecast here is rather good, both regarding temperature, precipitation and wind. (These days they can say rain every day, and be right!) In fact they often hit the time of the day when the rain starts top on.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

cohan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3401
  • Country: ca
  • forest gnome
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #229 on: November 12, 2020, 04:31:46 PM »
Hello Cohan,

You are spot on! Yes, it is much more difficult to make accurate 7-day forecasts for precipitation than for temperature.

Currently we are experiencing record to near record high daytime temperatures. The good news is that it appears that there will be cooler temperatures and some precipitation during the next 7-day time period. The dynamics are not perfect, but I will take whatever we can get.

Right now I am in a race to gather the last bits of data and make end of the season observations - flora/plant communities - from the high elevation sites in the Sierra Nevada before deep snow accumulations occur (maybe wishful thinking this year – I have my reasons for not going along with the NWS seasonal forecast for above average precipitation and below average temperatures.) Once snow and winter conditions set in I can spend the winter analyzing and modeling the information.
Yes, any precip is better than none, hope you get more!

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #230 on: November 14, 2020, 07:28:55 PM »
Cohan,

We have finally received some rain and mountain snow. Precipitation totals are still below average. Conditions are currently favorable for additional precipitation during the coming week.



I was out the outer day before the first significant snowfall fell in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.



It is always pleasant to be in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.



This small grove of Aspen, Populus tremuloides, will be encouraged to grow and colonize this site.



4 years ago this barren area, the site of a logging deck back in the 1990’s, is now being recolonized by vegetation and wildlife. Rough Bent Grass, Agrostis scabra, can be seen growing in the right foreground, with dense stands of Bulrush, Scirpus diffusus, and Juncus saximontanus/ensifolius complex to the left. Much of the central portion of this site is still barren of plant life.



Rough Bent Grass, Agrostis scabra, is recolonizing much of this old logging skid trail.
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3853
  • Country: no
  • Rogaland, Norway - We used to have mild winters!
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #231 on: November 15, 2020, 11:09:10 AM »
Robert,

Glad to hear that you have gotten some precipitation! Hope you get a lot more.

....

4 years ago this barren area, the site of a logging deck back in the 1990’s, is now being recolonized by vegetation and wildlife. Rough Bent Grass, Agrostis scabra, can be seen growing in the right foreground, with dense stands of Bulrush, Scirpus diffusus, and Juncus saximontanus/ensifolius complex to the left. Much of the central portion of this site is still barren of plant life.
....

Why is the central portion still barren do you think? Is it a kind of pollution there, like oil or diesel spill? Or does it just take time, lacking the pioner species for that kind of soil?
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #232 on: November 16, 2020, 05:00:50 PM »
Hi  Trond,

I will enjoy answering this question.  8)   :)

Right now I am very busy, however I will gladly tell the story of this site as soon as possible.
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3401
  • Country: ca
  • forest gnome
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #233 on: November 16, 2020, 06:29:07 PM »
Hi  Trond,

I will enjoy answering this question.  8)   :)

Right now I am very busy, however I will gladly tell the story of this site as soon as possible.

I was also curious about that-- here it seems to take about ten minutes for plants to grow on anything left alone...lol  Just too dry with no shade? Compacted soil? we'll be waiting to hear :)

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #234 on: November 21, 2020, 08:22:43 PM »
Trond and Cohan,

This is the story behind this former logging deck site.

As stated, this area was logged during the 1990’s. At the time of the logging operation the land parcel was in private ownership. When the logging was completed the title of the land was transferred to the U.S. Forest Service and the land became public property. The logging access roads, and drag trails remanded. This provided easy access for off-road vehicles. The logging deck pictured was quite the playground for the off-road vehicle enthusiast. They enjoyed driving in circles and created quite a depression. Seasonally, when the depression filled with water, driving through the mud and water was even more pleasurable. Needless to say these activities destroyed all the plant life.

Approximately three years ago, the U.S. Forest Service ripped the access roads and drag trails. In addition, trees were cut and placed across the access roads and dragged trails making the site inaccessible to the off-road vehicles. At this point habitat restoration was initiated at this site. The logging deck, which had now become a depression, was converted into a seasonal pond. As you can see from the photograph native vegetation is well on its way reclaiming the site.

The whole area, though encompassing a relatively small region, sports a rich diversity of plant species. Since I spent many summers in this area from the 1960’s onward, I have a keen interest in this restoration project. Currently, this is one of a number of habitat restoration projects that I have some involvement within the Crystal Basin/ western Crystal Range.
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3853
  • Country: no
  • Rogaland, Norway - We used to have mild winters!
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #235 on: November 22, 2020, 03:13:56 PM »
Robert,

Thank you for your explanation. I recall you may have mentioned some of it before and it got me thinking of some similar experiences I had when I lived in Oslo. The problem wasn't off road vehicles after the logging but the huge machinery used for logging. They made huge tracks and other scars in the landscape, especially in wet soil. The scars last for decades and sometimes new streams were created that still exist.

I hope you will continue following how this site evolves.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

ArnoldT

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2047
  • Country: us
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #236 on: November 22, 2020, 05:29:02 PM »
Ho Robert

Can you describe what a "logging deck" is.

Thanks,
Arnold Trachtenberg
Leonia, New Jersey

Robert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4397
  • Country: us
  • All text and photos © Robert Barnard
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #237 on: November 25, 2020, 04:12:37 PM »
I apologize for the delay responding to the questions and comments. I currently have some deadlines that need to be met. I will get back to questions and comments as soon as I can.  :)
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3401
  • Country: ca
  • forest gnome
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #238 on: November 26, 2020, 07:04:42 PM »
I'm sad that for some people getting out into nature means riding noisy, polluting, fire causing vehicles around, scarring the land. Of course they do it here too on gov't land in the foothills and mountains, usually the environments affected are not super fragile or rare, but there are surely cases where delicate environments with uncommon species are impacted.  There was a move to change protection levels on some wide areas in the foothills and mtns west of me, a vast area, much of which is outside of existing parks or designated wilderness areas. The idea had many components, some improved facilities/access in certain areas, but eliminating offroad vehicles in other large zones, which had people in this area up in arms :( that was the previous slightly left of centre provincial gov't, which the largely conservative rural folk already hated. The current, conservative provincial gov't has not addressed that area, but is moving to remove park or protected status from many smaller areas in the province :( Sad that conservatives seem to want only to conserve social mores from the past, and not the planet we live on...

hamparstum

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
  • Country: ar
  • knowledge unexercised is wasted learning
Re: Robert’s Crystal Range Project – Year 2, 2020
« Reply #239 on: November 26, 2020, 10:37:58 PM »
Arnold, what I would understand as a logging deck is a place where felled trees are cut up is sizes that can be hauled with large scale trucks down to the mill where they are sawed into planks. In my part of the world this created serious erosion problems all along. Nowadays there are portable saw mills that allow the operation to be carried out much more locally reducing the level of heavy machinery wandering inside fragile ecosystems. Logging in public forests always involves after logging restoration measures. From what I understand, its with taxpayers money that it is done rather by direct taxing the logging activity. Imho, it should be built in the costs of wood products sold later. The buyer of wood will see price rise, but it would be a much fairer deal. Sustainability is exactly about this. Of course loggers will yell loud against something like this. That is where real policy makers have the duty of stepping in and regulating the activity. The best way of stopping logging is making the activity just too costly by adding the cost of restoration directly to it. More fragile land is then preserved from unnecessary greedy ravaging of the land. Steep slopes and far way hinterlands can thus be spared.
Arturo
Arturo Tarak

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal