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Yesterday I hiked a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail with my dog for a mental health day. It was impressive to see the understory still greened up and blooming in the second half of August. It looked much more like the Cascades or the Rockies than the typical dusty and cripsy conditions.
I was mostly in lodgepole pine with some aspen in the wet spots, but after awhile ran into some old western white pine and Utah junipers. It was obvious from the stands of white fir and mountain hemlock coming up under the canopy that it had not burned in a very long time. There were a few Shasta red firs around. Plenty of big mature trees over 200 years old suggests that the area has never been logged either.
Shrubs like currants, gooseberry, green leaf manzanita, kinnick-kinnick, bitterbrush, ninebark, snowberry, and a few others were still green. Fall asters in white and purple, yarrow, fireweed, goldenrod, and a few other perennial were in bloom. In the riparian areas there lupine and paintbrush still blooming. Even the mule's ears were still green with some yellow flowers.
It was like a garden and a refreshing change from the dusty conditions we have had in the recent droughts. The creeks were clear and beautiful. This is going to be one of the great falls for hiking in the Sierra.