March Alpenglow

Yesterday’s sun and warmth was replaced by overcast and cooler temperatures overnight. I woke this morning to a dusting of snow that only showed in places where it was presumably protected from the ground had warmed during yesterday’s sunny conditions. Although very light snow continued to fall through at least midmorning, the clouds started breaking up from the north.

By the time I went out after lunch, it was mostly blue sky over town, but some heavier clouds remained over the pyramids.

I headed out to Starrigavan, and ended up spending the better part of two hours relaxing in the sun on the beach just in from the first point along Mosquito Cove trail.

A light breeze coming off the water was enough to remind me that the air temperature was still cool, but with the layers I had on, insufficient to overcome my own heating capacity combined with that of the sun.

There were flies active on the beach, but none cooperated enough for me to get pictures, though I did try.

The tide was well out – predicted to be 0.4ft, it ended up at -0.3ft. Several folks with dogs, at least two or three of them repeatedly throwing balls on the exposed flats. Also a group or two that dug for clams over by Starrigavan creek. It was interesting to be able to hear folks talking fairly clearly from across the way.

I may have drifted off to sleep for a bit while facing the sun with my back leaned against a rock, but before I left I did spend some time looking at lichens on a shoreside trees.

It’s now too late in the season for chasing the green flash (the sun is now disappearing behind Kruzof Island before it reaches the horizon), but I did make a short trip down to the sea walk for sunset. There was nice alpenglow on the Pyramids to the south. It was also showing nicely on Verstovia and the Sisters, though my view of them was more obstructed.

I finished uploading the remainder of my 2020 observations today. I ended up with just short of 5000 observations, and over 1200 taxa. That is over 1500 more observations than I made in 2019, my next highest year total.

Two mountain hemlocks stand taller than the other trees on a ride of Verstovia. I remember noticing these trees as a child (though with much less detail than a telephoto lens offers) and thinking of them as two ancient hikers. I have been up to visit them, but it’s been several years since I last did. Perhaps later this year I will return.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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