Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 03/01/2014


Photo taken on July 26, 2013


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lichen
meadow
drought
Wolf Lichen
snow depth


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Drought in California

Drought in California
This is how you tell the average snow depth in the middle elevation forests of California. The yellow-green Wolf Lichen you see high on this White Fir can stand cold, but not lack of bright light.

Here, on this tree, the Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) begins about 10 feet above the ground. That shows roughly the depth of the snow pack.

This winter there have been periods with no snow on the ground at all. I've seen a winter like that only once before...37 years ago in 1977.

tiabunna, Gloucester, a Bottled Spider, Tim Hanko, Zach have particularly liked this photo


8 comments - The latest ones
Gary Robertson
Gary Robertson
Hope you are doing well, Laurie. Miss you over at flickr.

Never knew that info about the height of the Wolf Lichen indicating the average snow depth -- from now on will look at that lichen in an entirely different light.

Re -- this winter -- certainly has been bizarre. I've lived in Trinity County (except for a year in the '90s) for over 30 years -- can't remember a winter as dry as this one or one with such cold temperatures. We had four or five sub-zero days in a row here and weeks of in-the-teens ones -- and -- our elevation is only about 2400 feet. Also last year was a drought year, as well. Worrisome.
4 years ago.
Judith Jannetta
Judith Jannetta
Interesting fact - rather ominous undertones.......I wish you water
4 years ago.
W9JIM - Jim Doss
W9JIM - Jim Doss
I always learn something new - or have forgotten - when I visit your site. :-)
4 years ago.
Clint
Clint
I didn't know that about lichen either. Now I have something to look for.

I've heard parts of California finally got rain over the last few days, but that it came in the most useless manner so that most of it is already in the Pacific. My concern continues.
4 years ago.
Evergreengirl
Evergreengirl
Hmmm, that's an interesting bit of information. Now I will be looking at the "high tide" mark of the lichen on trees to get an idea of the average snow pack depth.

The situation in CA sure is bad. You guys will have to get a lot more rain before you'll be at normal levels in your reservoirs. And I saw on the news that the latest rainstorms pretty much just caused more problems than they helped, but maybe at least some snow fell in the higher elevations.
4 years ago.
Cobalt
Cobalt
Interesting about the lichen, we were way below on our snow pack here in WA but the last couple weeks that has changed quite a bit.
Many of the rivers will be moved to flood watch over the next several days because of the insane amount of rain even for this area that has fallen lately
4 years ago.
Chrissy S
Chrissy S
Fascinating...and perhaps one in return. My Dad is now 85 (he also has a wry, sparky sense of humour)...but, he says, he cannot ever recall the same level and scenes of flooding here in the UK in his lifetime...Yup, he has seen them but, never to the same intensity, degree or so widespread.
4 years ago.
tiabunna
tiabunna
I'm fascinated that the usual winter snow depth is ten feet! But yes, there have been some very strange weather patterns recently - bad droughts here also, not to mention record hot summer temperatures.
4 years ago.