Monday, May 19, 2008

Signs of spring summer

  • Hummingbirds (arrived two weeks ago).
  • Flowering shrubs (first flowers last weekend).
  • The Animas River at bankfull, with big brown waves and lots of kayakers. (There's a pool in town to predict the maximum spring flow. The winner will be announced June 1. Meanwhile, I'm going to hand out and watch people play on the river this Friday.

(This photo is upstream of the youngest moraine, in the meandering section of the Animas River. The boaters play further downstream. Flow was up to 4290 cfs today, for anyone considering dropping everything and heading for the river.)

(The photo is also taken from the parking lot of my son's daycare. Ron, this is just downstream of the United Campground.)

  • Tourists standing in the middle of the street, taking a photo of a Victorian hotel. (And there wasn't even a stoplight there. I mean, Durango drivers are generally polite, but this was one of two intersections on Main Avenue that don't have lights. I try to avoid crossing at those two places - not everyone stops. And this guy was totally oblivious to anything but his photography!)
  • Crowds of orange-vested twenty-somethings, scribbling on clipboards or field-hardened laptops, on the road that cuts through the moraine from the last glacial maximum. I expect to see vans beside the last outcrops of the Cretaceous seaway sometime this week.


Ron Schott said...

Thanks for the update, Kim! Do you know if the USGS has a gaging station on the Animas with web output (a la the Mississippi flooding ones we were watching earlier this month)?

Kim said...

Yes, they do, at 32nd St, less than a mile downstream of your campground.

4770 cfs this morning. (Maximum on this date was 7500 cfs, in 1948. According to the USGS, that's two feet below flood stage - though the banks of the meandering section look about to submerge.)

The high temp is predicted to be 85 F today, and it was about that hot yesterday. It's going to cool down toward the end of the week, though, so the melting should slow down in the high country. The river rats tell me that the flows should peak this week or next week.

ScienceWoman said...

The hydrograph has those nice diurnal fluctuations in it. I presume that this case is a result of the snow melting during the day and not at night.

Kim said...

Yes - even down here at 7000 feet, the nighttime lows are in the 30's or 40's. It's below freezing most nights in the mountains.

(In Silverton, up above 9000 feet, they can't grow much besides rhubarb in the summer.)

Silver Fox said...

It sounds like you now have all the signs of spring/summer in the high country. And that's quite a range of temps, from 30's or 40's to 85!