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Hite Cove

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Hite Cove

Postby will_jrob » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:21 pm

Enjoyed a hike into Hite Cove on 3/31. Plenty of flowers and folks (for midweek). River (South Fork Merced) was running full, so must be some thawing upstream, despite being only a mild day at 1700 ft. Some gold hillsides in the main canyon near Briceburg. Lots of shiny poison oak, poppies, baby-blue-eyes, blue-dick,fiddlenecks, goldfields; plus prairie, woodland, and shooting, Stars, birds-eye gilia, owl clover, spring-gold, phacelia, and a few mountain violet, paint brush.

more photos:
Last edited by will_jrob on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hite Cove

Postby ndwoods » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:40 pm

Yes , I was in Yosemite for the spring forum, and wasn't the Merced River Canyon outrageously in bloom?!!! (beautiful pic by the way)
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Re: Hite Cove

Postby gdurkee » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:13 pm

I went up the South Fork last Friday. It's really worth a trip. Best poppies I've seen in years there (and throughout the Merced Canyon). Probably won't last much longer, so scurry on over there.

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Re: Hite Cove

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:17 pm

I have heard several people mention that the abundance of flowers are due
to the fire last year.
If this is the case then maybe the Crown Basin area may be worth checking out
this year also.
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Re: Hite Cove

Postby SSSdave » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:34 pm

The abundance of wildflowers can be enhanced by the occurance of fire but that is just one facet of a complex equation. If a fire occurs in an area where there are few flower seeds, there would not be much effect. Such is in fact the case in many of the burned areas in the Merced Canyon where greasewood brush dominated. Those areas look like scorched earth with only mineral soil and little green at all. Not only do those greasewood areas not have many species but the intensity of fire is much hotter such that any seeds tend to totally burn. In contrast fire moves through the grasssland areas more slowly and with low intensity. In subsequent seasons before the brush dominates again, modest numbers of plants will eventually move into the greasewood areas simply through erosion and wind transport. Conversely if a fire occurs in an area with a many dormant seeds on the ground and shallow earth like grassy areas that regularly have flowers, then it might increase the next season's wildflowers. If a fire occurs in an area that rarely has fires and has species that has seeds that are not used to fires and consequently seeds tend to be destroyed by any manner of fire, then a fire would only decrease that species the next season. Conversely if a fire occurs in an area that periodically has fires and has species with hard seed cases that are helped by low intensity fires that remove the tough seed casing outer covering, then it is likely fires will increase the next season wildflowers with a bumper crop. Accordingly wildland fires tend to enhance spring wildflowers in lower elevation California zones, especially those with a mix of chaparral and grasslands where fires are frequent. And conversely fires would unlikely have much effect in the High Sierra. As an example the incredible bloom I found last year at this location:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Spring_2008 ... 08_p7.html

Was about an area that had burned the previous season and already had a regular good annual spring bloom.
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