Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Skipping Winter

An afterthought about my recent post of Dutchman's Pipevine: One thing I love about the Sierra is that I get to experience several seasons on any given day just by changing elevation. Last Saturday, I left my relatively mild (by winter standards) home in Qunicy for a trip up to around 6,500' on Claremont Mountain to catch a Christmas tree. It was MUCH colder up there and very icy, reminding me of the dangers to the unaware.
In the opposite direction - from my perspective as one who was raised in New England - I feel that the lower foothills, say below 2,000', really don't experience winter. When the snow starts to fly around Quincy and higher, it is more often than not rainy at the lower elevations and the golden hills quickly become green. When we in Quincy are experiencing the "dead" of winter, the first spring wildflowers are blooming on Table Mountain and Bidwell Park, and as far as I am concerned it's spring. Today began as the coldest day of the winter so far with many locales reporting temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Kind of gives me the urge to go down toward Chico to look for wildflowers. I know it gives others the urge to head for the Tahoe area for skiing. The great thing about the Sierra is that you can do both in the same week!

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