Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rain Date

Still summer and it RAINED last night, snowed in the Sierra. Dang. There goes our five day trip to Yosemite this weekend, a horse camping/trail riding trip, a year in the planning. Dang. It was planned by a group of us in the horse club I belong to. Our camp reservations were cancelled yesterday. Dang. Jerry responded, "What a bunch of wimps, lets go anyways." I was 'saved' by a forest ranger this morning. I spoke directly with a ranger 'up on top'. I asked if it was really that bad up there at the horse camp. His answer....'Depends on how you define 'that bad'. For me, the 2 inches of snow, freezing temps, and the 60 m/p/h winds he described, meet my definition of 'that bad'.

I found another great place we can go to instead, staying out of the mountains but still in the foot hills, decent temperatures, a few scattered sprinkles. I called a list of folks; I am dismayed to find that most of our riding buddies are 'fair weather riders', and not even embarrassed to be such, as they laughed at my determination to not let a little rain ruin the weekend. Sheesh, they need to spend a spring and summer in Michigan. For now only 4 of us will go.

I admit to being a little bit excited about the early snow. Could this be a sign of a snow filled early Sierra winter? Snow was not abundant last winter. I sneaked a peak at the Sierra at Tahoe ski resort web cam..... snow on the slopes, just a sprinkling, enough to get me excited.

I need to bump up my exercise program and dig my ski stuff out of the storage unit.

I need to head out and buy camp groceries for the horses and for us too.

For some reason I am having trouble posting comments on my own blog! I enjoy reading your comments.

I will keep trying to get in there and answer your qusetions and comments.

The crayfish remain a mystery; they have vanished. The next evening I walked the entire pasture and found not one crawdad! A few squished ones on the road and the hapless couple I stepped on are all that remain of the crawdad mass gathering. I googled crayfish, found no reference to land dwelling, large gatherings, or migrations. It shall remain an unsolved mystery for now. I did find a few southern cooking sites with some delicious sounding crawdad recipes. Now I wish I had frozen a dozen or so.

Happy Trails!


Anonymous said...

Hey sis ,I'll go camping with you. A little snow never hurt anyone.Cold? just dress for it .Right.Have fun be careful.

Anonymous said...

Have fun camping, watchout for the bears. I sure do miss camping, even in the cold and snow.

Now why would one even think to gather few crawdads from one's pasture and freeze them. Really???
Some mystery, Crawdads?
"Hi Jerry, hope camping was good one"

Jenn said...

Those fair weather riders! They haven't experienced anything until they've felt the sharp, toe-breaking sting of jumping off horse with frozen feet and landing on equally frozen ground. FUN!

I think your crawfish are an invasive species of crawfish: the Red Swamp Crayfish, introduced from Louisiana and wreaking havoc on California natives species.

"Habitat: Red swamp crayfish are tolerant to a wide salinity range and are therefore found in both freshwater and brackish water habitats. They burrow into the muddy banks of sloughs, rivers, swamps and irrigation ditches. They tend to avoid fast-moving water."

"Concerns: In their native range, red swamp crayfish are economically valuable, for instance as the basis of profitable aquaculture in Louisiana, where they are used for Cajun cooking. They have been intentionally introduced outside their native range for aquaculture operations. They are known to be very aggressive, territorial, and are generalist feeders, making them a formidable threat to organisms that rely on the same resources; in California, they may outcompete native crayfish. They are also known to prey upon endangered newts and are thought to be directly responsible for the decline in newt numbers in some areas. The burrowing behavior of this species can compromise the integrity of banks and levees, thereby increasing erosion and causing destruction to important wildlife habitat."

So, I'm guessing they have been living in the pasture, underground, and came out when it got irrigated. Maybe they've been out before, but didn't get noticed. That's about all I can come up with! So next time you see them, freeze a ton!

Anonymous said...

Hey David, maybe you'll get your snow next week! I hope not though.

Mom, looks like Jenn's investigative skills answered the pasture crayfish question.

Jenn, you rule! I didn't find any of that info on my search. Thanks so much! You should moonlight as a private investigator!