T Meadows 6/17/15
Today we went to see a few talks from the park service and SFPUC at the Parson’s Lodge in Tuolumne Meadows. The talks were really interesting and repeated a lot of things we had already talked about in class, like the altered recession limb in drought years. Except instead of looking at its effects from an ecological standpoint, it was directed at management/policy issues. One of the people who introduced the speakers said something that I thought was a good point, she said that this conference was the first step in translating scientific literature and findings into information that can be used to educate, manage, and conserve. Regardless of whether I end up going into research, I’d really like to keep up with the scientific discoveries/updates. Subscriptions to journals are too damn expensive for individuals, but what would be really good would be if there were conferences or talks available to the public.
Later in the day we hiked out to the end of the meadow and an overlook of the beginning of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. It was incredibly beautiful but I had an interesting revelation. As we hiked the people around us where able to name everything: the plants, bugs, animals, etc. I’ve always loved learning all that stuff, but mostly I only learned about it With Rosa or on rafting trips with geologists, biologists, etc. I remember I used to sometimes think that by naming everything and knowing all the rock formations and their origins, and all of those things took the wonder and amazement and mystery out of nature. But over the 4 years I’ve been involved in OA and especially now being out here with all these WFC people who know so much about all the life and processes going on has given me a new perspective on it: when you know all these things around you so intimately, you are so much more aware of their presence, a dense forest of or meadow is no longer an abstract and homogenous collection of objects, each one takes on a new individuality, each has a name, a face, and a history and can be looked upon tenderly like a dear old friend.