City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

May 5, 2017

April 29th

Filed under: Arrowleaf baslamroot, Bonneville Drive — canopus56 @ 1:06 pm

The Temperature Switch

3:45 p.m. The several days of cold, near freezing, weather have ended, but the insects are almost entirely absent. I see only a one moth and hear three or four birds. Just above the intersection of Bonneville Drive and Canyon Road (below Guardhouse Gate parking lot), a flowering apple tree has just begun to drop its blooms, but at mile 1.1, an apple tree hidden to the west of picnic site 8 is just beginning to open this year’s blooms. As I drive out the upper canyon along Bonneville Drive, Arrowleaf balsamroot is at it peak. Each blasamroot is fire bowl that is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s “Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers”. I stop and count on the east side of the lower canyon, approximately four-hundred Arrowleaf balsamroot plants spilling down a hillside below five hundred feet of Bonneville Drive. This above where historical photographs document the site of an old mill, but no trace of it remains.

It is this time of year that, what I call the “temperature switch” announcing summer will turn. I usually mark my calendar around May 2nd, and this corresponds to the start of the vernal ecological season, the time in which plants regrow (February 16th). The National Weather Service forecast predicts seven days of increasing warmth, and this should restart the insects again.

* * * *

On April 29th, 1910, a fire destroyed an adobe building north of the gravel pit near what is now Memory Grove (Salt Lake Tribune). On April 29th, 1907, Catholic Bishop Scanlon led sixty children on a walk up City Creek Canyon (Salt Lake Tribune).

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