The unsayable: Rilke (snow in the desert)

Give thanks to Kurt Harvey, for sharing this photo of mountains near Tucson this new year to Google+'s California and Western Landscapes community , and for the words that follow from Rilke: Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a spaceContinue reading “The unsayable: Rilke (snow in the desert)”

Snow disappearing from Southern California mountains

Don't expect to see pictures below much in the future. From the LA Times:  A UCLA study released Friday projects a significant decline in snowfall on the ranges that provide a dramatic backdrop to urban Southern California. By mid-century, the amount of snow draping the mountains could decrease 30% to 40%, researchers say. If greenhouseContinue reading “Snow disappearing from Southern California mountains”

A pilgrimage to the snow on the mountain: 2013

Every year for the past fifteen or so I've walked up our local mountains, called Topa Topa, during the snows. This year, as you can see, we've had only dustings… …but still, I was not alone. Saw nearly two dozen fellow travelers, from age one or so to seventy, in all shapes and sizes, withContinue reading “A pilgrimage to the snow on the mountain: 2013”

Indian summer snowfall in the Sierra: John Muir

John Muir wrote poetry almost unconsciously. Or so it seems. For him metaphors — such as the idea of a land of clouds — were embedded in his thinking from his early days, and evolved easily into poems (though they're easier to see with a few line breaks). Here's an entry in his journal fromContinue reading “Indian summer snowfall in the Sierra: John Muir”

How dry will it be in California in 2012?

According to NOAA, La Niña is beginning to fade away in the Pacific, but it's probably too late to expect much precip this year. La Niña-like impacts are expected to persist into the upcoming season. For those of us who like rain, snow, and water, this is not great news. So far this year hasContinue reading “How dry will it be in California in 2012?”

Snow falling and night falling oh so fast…in Yosemite

From the Yosemite Ranger's lovely Twitter feed. A picture:  And a poem… Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fastIn a field I looked into going past,And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,But a few weeds and stubble showing last. The woods around it have it—it is theirs.All animals are smothered in their lairs.IContinue reading “Snow falling and night falling oh so fast…in Yosemite”

First Snow in Yosemite (fall of 2009)

A week ago yesterday, it was 96 degrees in Yosemite Valley. Yesterday it snowed — pretty hard — forcing the closure of the road to Glacier Point, and forcing me to walk up from the valley. But the beauty of the snow was a fine compensation, as Emerson would say…here's Sentinel Rock, from the so-calledContinue reading “First Snow in Yosemite (fall of 2009)”

Rain! Snow? Rain! Okay, We’ll Take Anything

A couple of months ago, the last time we had any real rain, I was dreaming of enough precipitation to get the creeks flowing again. Didn’t happen. This morning we’re getting what may be the biggest rain of the year to date…in late April! Chances of it starting the creeks in Ventura County (which takesContinue reading “Rain! Snow? Rain! Okay, We’ll Take Anything”