Sunday, August 30, 2020

Pennsylvania Roundup

I'm including extra Pennsylvania news which is sure to please Dirty Uncle J, who was just visiting, and peed in a drain next to my jalapenos. Such a philistine.
  1. Fees to be added to Pennsylvania State Parks? Pennsylvania has a very underrated state park system - underrated most of all by Pennsylvanians! And most states don't even HAVE a state forest system. Or game lands. Start valuing it or it will a) get more expensive to maintain like this (due to legislators not wanting to spend tax dollars on it) or b) it will go away.

  2. Cool study showing how ecosystems changed in southeast PA after the arrival of Europeans. Basically, until then, streams branched a lot more and there were richer wetlands. Europeans arrived and dammed things for mills, depositing a lot of silt and channeling the streams into a few bigger ones. I used to look at the landforms around Berks County and wonder how beavers would have been able to survive, but with marshier streams, it makes more sense. The work was done by Dorothy Merritts and Robert Walter at Franklin & Marshall.

  3. Reddit user u/geotolken posts this map on the PA subreddit. S/he is clearly doing important work. I have several crates of Utz products in my garage in California as I type. I don't think many Pennsylvanians realize how thoroughly abnormal and wonderful it is to have basically a snack food manufacturer for every county! I know it's hard to see on here so click here to open in a new tab if you want to see if your favorite one is on there.

  4. Below, great video of kayak camping on the Delaware. I've only done this once, and was serenaded by foxes all night. So much wilder than people realize. A friend where I now live in California, who grew up here and spent his summers in Yosemite and is quite well-traveled, told me the Delaware Water Gap is one of the most beautiful places he's ever been.

  5. Daily pH cycle for Loyalsock Creek near Williamsport:

  6. Bonus Sonoma County California news: laugh it up Pennsylvanians!

    As it does every summer, Sonoma County has caught on fire and at this writing has been burning for two weeks. This set of fires "only" burned 580 square miles (the ones in the Bay Area - the ones in the northern half of the Bay Area anyway) and even though they're mostly out, we basically haven't been able to go outside for two weeks due to the air quality. COVID plus megafire = just really a great time. And to top it off, yes I had my first home-grown jalapeno (pictured, fortunately prior to J's micturative exertions); and of course, it's about the ONLY thing around here that's not hot right now! (Yes it's my first and I was too excited to wait for it to show corking but I don't think that would make its heat more respectable as opposed to the nursing-home-gruel-level it's at.) Below that is our new county seal.

    Above: a commentary on experiencing the unexpected mildness of the pepper during the summer of 2020.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Point Reyes August 2020, Woodward Valley

Most of these are from Woodward Valley Trail, a heretofore unknown gem and new favorite in PRNP. Sadly, a few weeks after I took these pictures, the Woodward Valley Fire burned most or all of it. It's gone now. I'm glad I got to see it but sad that I can't take my family back there.

Above, "sand" at Schoolhouse Beach.

These are crocosmia (montbretia), southern Africn invasives that mak you think you got lost and are now in Hawaii.

Fog was striking as I descended Woodward Valley Trail.  Glimpses of Sculptured Beach through the gaps in the cliff.

Above:  Tamatoa not looking so good these days.

Below, blackberries starting to ripen.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Bear Scat? Point Reyes, Upper Meadow Trail, 9 August 2020

There have been bear sightings around Point Reyes before - the most recently reported 2 years ago. There are bears just north in Sonoma and they even wander out into the flat parts of Yolo County occasionally, so this would not be all that surprising.