City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

December 26, 2016

December 26th

Filed under: Geology, Light, picnic site 4, Stream — canopus56 @ 9:02 pm

The Silver Ribbon

12:30 p.m. Where the road and stream turn nearly south for straight sections between picnic site 4 and picnic site 2, the Sun can align between the viewer and the stream. Between noon and 1:30 p.m., sections of the stream reflect the Sun and the stream appears as a metallic silvery strip. Compare to the Golden Ribbon (December 14th) and the Black Ribbon (December 16th).

The tracks of the elk and deer that descend to the valley and Memory Grove (Dec. 25) can be traced back along the south-west canyon wall and ridgeline all the way back to milepost 1.5, but only one female elk can be seen high on the shaded south canyon wall south and east of Pleasant Valley. Horizontal sandstone rock layers that permeate the first mile of the canyon below Pleasant Valley are emphasized by the heavy snow. Only the cliffs are brown, and these contrast with the snow drifts that covered the rest of the walls.

In Thoreau’s “Journal” on December 26th, 1840, he wonders how fish living underneath winter ice must perceive the changing of the seasons. On December 26th, 1853 and again on December 26th 1855, he notes how a fresh heavy snow pushes and weighs down the trees. He describes a pine tree recently hit by lightening. On December 26th, 1854, he records a Christmas without snow. He observes how a squirrel has dug out the snow bound entrance to its burrow. He sees the occasional sprig of newly growing green grass in the middle of winter.

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