Wednesday, July 18, 2007

There's a dragon with matches
That's loose on the town
Take a whole pail of water
Just to cool him down

Sunday was spent on the Yellowstone River, in Paradise Valley.

A deer was avoiding the blistering heat in a nice, little hidey-hole.

Speaking of blistering heat, regular readers of this website may remember me bemoaning a marked lack of snow this winter. While I was writing from a self-interested viewpoint, namely my love of snowboarding on fresh, deep snow, I was also concerned about what would happen this summer.

The chickens are coming home to roost.

(^I like that one.)

Despite a brief thunderstorm last night, we are headed for an inferno here.

The snowfall was far, far short of normal. It didn't come until later in the season than usual, and when it did come, it was interrupted by warm spells that caused it to melt, particularly later in the season.

Because of these conditions (low precipitation, frequent spikes in temperature), the snowpack was far lower than normal. In an normal year, the snow slowly melts from the end of May into July. This runs off of the mountains, provides water to trees, streams and rivers.

Because of the lack of snowpack this year, the streams and rivers are running very, very low. The vegtation is very dry as a result and the streams and rivers are very warm.

They have restricted farmers' water rights and they have severely restricted fishing. Fish are dying because the water is so warm.

(^^I liked these, too.)

When you combine the nonexistent snowpack, the dry vegatation, the three week stretch of temperatures hovering around 100... well you get a tinderbox.

I was planning a backcountry trip up into the Spanish Peaks and Spanish Lakes this weekend, but now I am not so sure. Slogging a 23 mile round trip with a 40 pound pack (what? I gotta fish), straight up several thousand feet of vertical may not be too fun in 100 degree heat.

Sweet. I managed a post with text almost completely uncorrelated to the pictures. These were all take Sunday in Paradise Valley. Nice float.