Notes from the Field

The fall is one of my favorite seasons to be out on the land. The autumn season always seems to arrive just when the thought of another day of summer heat becomes too much to stand. The color of the leaves and rabbit brush, angle of the sun, crispness of the air — it all come together for a time (sometimes very briefly) and really showcases the drama and beauty of the Eastern Sierra. I think it is partially how short this window is before winter settles in that makes it so special here.

Can you spot the mule deer in the fall aspen colors?

Fall is always a busy season at ESLT too. Like the Clark’s nutcrackers gathering their winter caches, or the mule deer lingering for a last meal in a mountain meadow before heading down slope, we always seem to get caught by the chance of an early season storm and end up hurriedly working to wrap up annual monitoring visits, meet grant deadlines, and complete trips to new potential conservation properties before they are covered with snow until next spring or summer.

Sunset on a mountain meadow.

We have some great projects shaping up for the next year. Patience is important in this line of work, when one considers that a conservation easement is a permanent agreement it is critical that we get the details right the first time. Now, as the snow begins to fly, I’m glad to have a warm office to return to in order to continue this work rather than bunking down in a snowbank with nothing but sagebrush on the menu like the hardy sage grouse.