Yosemite work week, July 15-17, 2004

    Thursday, July 15, 2004:

  1. An unfortunately washed-out art shot (tm) of a gnarled stump and a baby Sequoia. The sun was direct and full and bright and hot, all week long. We were not affected by the Meadow Fire raging between Glacier Point Road and the Valley.

  2. We begin a day of exploring. Left to right: Ann, Barbara, Verle.

  3. We are on the attack. Verle is on the left, and Rose is there on the right holding the unfortunate weed.

  4. Jerry is unstoppable.

  5. I bet by now you can pick out the art shot (tm). Here we have lupins in the foreground, a fetching fence, and another greener meadow beyond.

  6. But hark, what doth a Sikorski helicopter do in this sleepy meadow? Answer: wait for the call to dart over to the Meadow Fire and try to dampen the boundaries. Have to wait for the smoke to clear.

  7. Rose!

  8. Our two botanists, Kate and Jean.

  9. Weary weed warriors: left to right, Theresa, Belinda, Verle, Barbara, Ann.

  10. Our fearless leader, Noreen, in her natural habitat - waist-high meadow plants.

  11. Back at the Wawona Hotel, after we took showers and eased into relaxing on the verandah, we spied tourists taking off in horse-drawn carriages.

  12. After a shower in the dilapidated Wawona Golf Club, what better than an incomprehensible card game involving two decks of cards? I was so glad I stuck to my book. Here we have Ann and Barbara counting cards.

  13. This is hard to believe. You'll just have to trust me on this. Jerry is opening a vacuum-packed plastic bag of green stuff that turns out to be the best guacamole you have ever had in your life. It comes complete with actual lumps of avocado. Go figure.

  14. Their incredible purple and yellow tent structure, and Don and Jean!

  15. Jean is at work drying.

  16. A lazy evening after dinner, by the river. Or maybe it's before dinner. You really can't tell by the number of wine bottles - that was a constant throughout.

  17. Michael, our host and cook.

  18. The second rare or endangered plant we were on the lookout for: Ivesia {something}. My apologies to the world of people who know these Latin names.

  19. The meadow that calls out to everyone's heart, it's Dorothy's meadow, it's the Wizard of Oz's meadow, it's magical, it spreads out before you, untrammeled, full of dozens of blooming wildflowers.

  20. Kate and Jean key out Ivesia. We found it in a location where it had never been seen before. This is a big deal for the Ivesia mappers!

  21. This is way cool. The botanist, using a fancy GPS device, marks the GPS coordinates where there rare plant is found.

  22. Ivesia, albeit not very carefully framed.

  23. Another view of the meadow and the trees that ring the fringe of the edge.

  24. You are probably asking yourself, what does it look like, for a team of rare plant hunters to spread out across a meadow bursting with life? Well, it looks something like this!

  25. ... and this ...

  26. ... and this.

  27. In the midst of the meadow are many pools and springs and eddies - be careful or you'll wade in up to your knees! Meadow, bog, marsh - our meadow was all of these.

  28. I admit it, I am in love with this meadow, and can't stop taking pictures of it.

  29. Group photo! Back row, left to right: Ann, Theresa, Belinda, Verle, Don, Noreen, Jerry. Front row, left to right: Rose, Barbara, Marianne, Kate, Jean.

  30. Same as above!

  31. Our three National Park Service leaders: Noreen, Brent and Sarah.

  32. Michael, our camp host, and Belinda.

  33. Michael again!

  34. Rose is sacrificing to the flame some pieces of wood left over from some word carving project she has been involved in.

  35. Don and Jean engaging in 3rd level communication.

  36. Don and Jean seem impossibly happy in each other's arms!

  37. They mug for the camera pretty good, too.

  38. Blurry but beautiful.

  39. And we end as we began ... with Michael our indefatigable host.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: July 21, 2004