The time in-between golden hour and twilight when the sun drops behind the mountains, casting dramatic shadows onto the landscape. The colors became rich hues of purple, pink, and orange. The daytime winds calmed, creating a mirror effect on the water. Golden trout danced on the lake. Temperatures started to drop.
Everyone pulled on their layers of down and fleece and we sat in our chairs waiting for our dinners to cook. And for the first time that day, we felt grounded.
The incense of cedar, sage, and fir became stronger. And aside from the “plop plop” of the trout, and the cicadas buzzing in the distance, there was a moment of true quiet. In that moment I began to reflect on the extreme relevance of the climate data I had been collecting and analyzing over the past 6 months.
The Sierra Nevada and California depend on snowpack and glaciers. The snow cover accumulation is a source of surface water and acts as a reflector of sunlight, creating a cooler surface climate. When there isn’t precipitation, glaciers become a source of water for vegetation and animals. Shrinkage of these glaciers leads to drier conditions, leading to ecological consequences, and poses a fire risk to higher elevations.