Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Death Valley and the SoCal Recent Storms

Being a regular Death Valley visitor – and probably a Death Valley return visitor in the next month or two – I like to keep up with the conditions in the park. If you aren’t familiar with the place you might envision static, hot, dry desert conditions in all seasons. You would be very wrong! I’ve most often visited around the beginning of April and I’ve seen everything from hot (upper 90 degree range) to snow (more than once!) and on several occasions rain and a few memorable dust storms. When rains do occur it isn’t unusual for there to be floods, some of epic proportions. (Within the last decade there have been several very serious floods than have led to major damage and deaths.)

I’ve been thinking about this during the past week’s huge storms in the Southwest – storms that have brought record low pressure systems to much of the area, created tornadoes, dropped snow to low elevations across several states, and dropped a lot of precipitation. Recently, photographer Bob Young shared with me the web address of a great resource for current conditions in the Death Valley area. (Thanks, Bob!)

From the report I read there today, it sounds like the storms hit DV fairly hard. Many (most?) back-country routes have been closed by rain, mud, and/or snow – including some of the popular locations such as Titus Canyon and the Racetrack. I get the impression that some of the low lying areas that can become flooded during wet years may indeed be flooding. While I don’t know the full extent of the conditions, I’m wondering if we might see some interesting and unusual water “events” this year and whether this might produce another exceptional wildflower bloom in a month or two.

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Places | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Death Valley and the SoCal Recent Storms

Boy Scouts, Nature, and the American Way

From an article in SFGate:

The last large stand of woods in a Seattle suburb. A scenic canyon just outside of Los Angeles. Rangelands deep in the heart of Texas…. All are set to be felled, filled and bulldozed so that stately homes, a reservoir and perhaps even a hydroelectric plant may one day rise in their place.

Aside from their now unspoiled, ecologically sensitive settings, the lands share a common bond: The Boy Scouts of America sold them for development.

Sigh…

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Commentary, Environment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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