Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring in the eastern Sierra

Well, as I sit down to write this post on spring, it is snowing heavily outside!  That is part of spring at 8,500' in the mountains.

I've done some drives and short hikes to some nearby places and wanted to share them.  We now have both snow and flowers depending on just where you are. We have a little patches of snow left here in Aspendell but it is mostly gone now.
Aspendell from the North Lake Rd

Starting down lower, Bishop Creek is flowing and the aspens are starting to leaf out at the 7000 foot level. 

At this level, desert peach and bitterbrush are blooming.  Desert peach is very fragrant. Bitterbrush is one of the deer's favorite winter foods. 
Desert peach


I also took a trip down to an area south of Big Pine that burned a few years ago. Last year, this area was covered with all kinds of wild flowers. This year, despite much rain over the winter, there weren't many.  I think timing of the rain is often the determining factor.  There was, though, quite a bit of lupin.

Up the road from town is Lake Sabrina, a favorite summer fishing lake.  This lake has a dam and in the fall, quite a bit of water is released.  Here's what it looks like now.

Now that fishing season is open in the high country, fisherfolk have been up here drilling holes in the ice.  As the spring runoff starts, this lake will fill up and I imagine by late June, water will be flowing over the spillway.  All the rock piles seen in this photo will then be underwater.

The willows here in town are already leaving out, but I did find some pussy willows up higher.

There is a lot of snow in the high country (and it is supposed to snow for the next four days!).  When it does finally get warm, there will be a lot of runoff probably well into July.  I expect lots of flowers and mosquitoes!

And finally, my post wouldn't be complete without some spring babies!  This ranch, off Highway 395 has 5 baby horses.  I caught three of them here.


  1. I love your pictures and comments. Keep it up Sheryl.I drive by those wonderful baby horses every time I go into Bishop. How lucky are we to live here!!!

  2. Lovely! It's great to see photos of that area through the seasons. I love it there and hope to visit again soon.