Signs of Drought in the Sierra Nevada Range

June Tahoe BannerWent to one of my favorite places as a teenager – Sand Harbor Beach at Lake Tahoe last week and the signs of the drought are very visible.  To the untrained eye or casual visitor that did not see the beach or lake in earlier years, it may not be so noticeable, but it was to me.  And I am sure Lake residents are concerned as well as those that live in the valleys nearby that rely on water from the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and Lake Tahoe.

June Tahoe  19 500wWe had a great time at the beach and I always find it so revitalizing to be there.  I like to get there in the mid morning hours, bring a picnic lunch, find a good spot, put a load of sunblock on and just enjoy the sweet air, the sounds of the waves and birds, the warmth of the sun,  the people around us enjoying the location, and the amazing view that is Lake Tahoe.  For the most part people are in a great mood when they relax on the beach with only a few people misunderstanding the need for basic beach etiquette such as not putting several huge umbrellas in front of someone else’s view of  the waters.

June Tahoe  11 700hI am so pleased that the water is still beautiful and clear.  I know that years ago they were having concerns about pollution damaging one of the world’s clearest mountain lakes, but from what I understand action was taken to keep this under control and reverse some of the problem.  I have not been to the beach on the west side at Homewood, CA where my Grandparents built their house back in the late 40s.  I know that the clarity over there had been damaged.  One could walk out on the pier and peer down some 20 feet and see the rocks and the fish clearly below.  I loved that as a little kid.

One thing I did notice at Sand Harbor was how low the water level of the lake was.  My guess would be that it is down 6 feet at least – maybe more.  I almost always take photos of Tahoe when I go for fear that it may be my last trip up there.  Lake Tahoe was the only place that I missed when we lived in the Pacific Northwest.  Okay, Virginia City has a certain amount of strange unique fun to it as well, but Tahoe is… revitalizing.  So I pay attention to details such as the Lake’s water level and clarity.

So after our fun on the beach, we walked around and looked at the giant granite boulders that are an iconic part of the Lake Tahoe, and boy are they now really exposed from the water.  Many of these big rocks used to be hidden under the icy cold waters and one would only peer down at them from above.  But now many are exposed as well as the beach is getting bigger as well.

So like I said I take pictures so here are some of the ones from this trip.

G. Winkler (c) 2014

 

Clear water of Lake Tahoe

Clear water of Lake Tahoe

 

Kayaking on the lake looks like great fun - that should be added to the bucket list.

Kayaking on the lake looks like great fun – that should be added to the bucket list.

 

Seagulls are standing on rocks that did not used to be visible above water level.

Seagulls are standing on rocks that did not used to be visible above water level.

 

June Tahoe  15 500w

June Tahoe  02 500w

This area used to be under water.

This area used to be under water.

 

During the afternoon the wind came up and started to make white caps on the waves.

During the afternoon the wind came up and started to make white caps on the waves.

Seagulls are often abundant in the area looking for a snack.

Seagulls are often abundant in the area looking for a snack.

 

Water is so clear and cold.

Water is so clear and cold.

 

Can you see the water lines on the big boulders?

Can you see the water lines on the big boulders?

 

It's hard to judge just how big these rocks really are in the photos without a reference point.

It’s hard to judge just how big these rocks really are in the photos without a reference point.

 

My husband goes out to retrieve a piece of trash lying on one of the rocks, and you can get an idea of how big the boulders are.

My husband goes out to retrieve a piece of trash lying on one of the rocks, and you can get an idea of how big the boulders are.

The northern section of Sand Harbor right next to the boat launch area.  A favorite rock jumping point now more exposed.

The northern section of Sand Harbor right next to the boat launch area.    A favorite rock jumping point now more exposed.

 

This area used have the tiny of beach space for people to sit upon.

This area used have next to no beach space for people to sit upon.

 

June Tahoe  05 500h

 

 

Thanks for visiting 🙂

 

 

 

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Gretchen Winkler is a Writer, Artist, Radio Show Co-Host, Costume Designer, and ordered Knight. For the past 20 years she has authored several informational websites, started several technical companies, and has been an avid student of art, literature, history, technology.

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Posted in Culture, Digital Photography, Travel

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