Heat Stressed   Leave a comment

The dry riverbed, along with the heat wave, means that the trees are already beginning to show signs of stress.  This yellowing cottonwood is not far from our front door.

The willows don’t show the dramatic change of the cottonwoods, but go brown a little at a time.

Trees aren’t the only things dying.  This stagnant puddle is all that’s left for dozens of polliwogs.  There were bubbles popping on its surface, as the desperate survivors gulped air and then drifted slowly down to the bottom.

Farther upriver, there was still a bit of flowing water.

But just by turning around, you could find more dying cottonwoods.

They make a pretty picture against the blue sky.

The cottonwoods seem more sensitive than the willows, and it seems that the largest ones — those that I would think were most deeply rooted — are going first.  Perhaps it depends on where the underground flow is going.

It’s all part of the natural process, I guess.  There would have been drought years even before the Isabella dam was built.  And many of the doomed trees had grown up in the river bed itself, where Mother Nature never intended them to be.  We’ve seen the cycle of drought and fire, followed by regeneration, often over the years.

But it’s not pleasant to watch.  We’ll hope for El Nino’s return — though he brings another set of problemns.


Posted July 23, 2012 by stablewoman in Kern River, Nature

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