February 21 (1976, 1987, 2000)
Spring. Then again, Winter.

2/21/76 ~ sunny and bright. wrens chatter from the bushes and many bees buzz the manzanita. wrens, i have seen, lurk in the flowery manzanita and ambush unwary bees. i wonder if they have a special technique of snapping up bees and wasps, based on millennia of trial and error, that prevents being stung...

how the pine needles dance and sparkle in the wind! yesterday i cut one down, about twenty-five feet high, and noted sadly that the needles still danced and sparkled as it lay on the ground, as though they still didn't know anything had happened, but i went about my business, roaring chainsaw in hand and bits of toilet paper stuffed in my ears in the hope of averting hearing damage.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

2/21/87  Saturday afternoon, cloudy, quite brisk and cold, a few flakes of snow wind their lonely way downwards from the sky. [...] Yesterday I drove down to Auburn to check over the timber harvest plans in the Bowman CDF office; talked with Jim Mower; no very radical plans seem in the offing for this area, except, perhaps, some clearcuts near the Cedars.

[...] after picking up some gas for the chainsaw, returned to gather up some modicum of fuel to outlast the oncoming storm, which, they say, for I'm listening to KGO, that is, half-listening, to a talk show about financial matters: which storm is producing thunderstorms, funnel clouds, and already the snow sifts down, and oh dear diary, I wish not to struggle with chains...”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Animated depiction of a portion of the
Northern California Sierra Nevada

Created February 21, 2000 from DEM (Digital Elevation Map) data. North is at the top. Three river canyons are depicted: at bottom, the North Fork American, in middle the Bear River, at top, the South Yuba. Giant Gap and Green Valley are in the lower left corner. In order to highlight relief, Russell included a rotating light source. This is a low resolution internet version of the very finely detailed movie.

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