Earth Day at Lone Bobcat Woods was a mixture of joy and grief. We celebrated the beautiful bountiful wildflowers and rich greenery which have sprung up since the late March rains (yes, the poison oak is bountiful, too).
Pacific Chorus Frogs in our pond regaled us with effusive song! One starts up (“Hey, everybody, how about a song?” and soon the others join in). Listen to them in Robin’s audio recording below. Photos at bottom.
They and we rejoiced that their spring-fed pond — at a lower level last fall than we’ve seen in our 26 years here — has now risen noticeably, although not as high as the springtime “normal”. We haven’t quite reached our pre-climate-change “normal” of 60 inches of rainfall but we’re close. Five years of drought isn’t being overturned in one year, much as we’d wish otherwise.
The drought has taken a big toll on the trees. Dozens of our larger ponderosa pines have succumbed to pine bark beetles, their tops flaming orange in death. With saddened hearts we marked dying trees with the logger, all the while knowing that removing the diseased trees will free up needed resources so the remaining trees can be stronger and healthier. It’ll be a pileated woodpecker holiday, with abundant dead snags on the south side of Round Mountain on the lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.