The end of the season is usually marked with a blanket of snow that covers the meadows and buries our plots until next spring. Instead, the end of the season this year has been marked by senescing of all of the plants in our plots and a long slog to get those last few zeros. Nonetheless, the meadows got a small dusting in early September (this picture was taken at plot 8 on September 4, looking toward the summit (to the left) and plot 9 (to the right)), but it has all melted since then. This coming year is projected to be an extreme El Nino year so we might (again) not get much snow this winter (see the Seattle Times Article from September 23 for a nice summary).
On the note of next year, it looks like we have scrounged enough funding (almost for sure) to run the program again in the summer of 2016. Be sure to check out the newsletter (we aim to have this out by the end of the calendar year) and to check back in the spring to hike with us again.
If this does turn out to be a strong El Nino year, it’ll be crazy to see what that means for the spring snow and the summer wildflowers!
The MeadoWatch Team