Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

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OneSpeed
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Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by OneSpeed » April 30th, 2021, 8:46 am

April 29, I saw what I first thought was snow in a meadow near Hebo Lake, but it wasn't. It was ... some kind of weird, white layer of smashed dead leaves? Never seen anything like it.

So, can somebody explain this one to me? I think it was aliens :-).
2021-04-29 16.53.35.jpg
2021-04-29 16.53.30.jpg
2021-04-29 16.53.26.jpg

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Bosterson
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by Bosterson » April 30th, 2021, 8:48 am

It looks like the meadow maybe got flooded with a silty layer of water and the mud on top of the water dried as the water soaked down into the ground, leaving a mud crust on top of the grass. (Unless those are actually leaves - I can't make your photos big enough to see that. ;) )
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bobcat
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by bobcat » April 30th, 2021, 12:38 pm

I've never seen anything that extensive, but it looks like snow mold. It develops under a fairly persistent snow patch when the ground temperature stays above freezing. The spores proliferate because the snow acts as an insulator from the colder air temperatures. Quite an exotic find for these parts!

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OneSpeed
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by OneSpeed » May 1st, 2021, 2:42 pm

I remembered I took a video with some more close-ups.

https://youtu.be/toPiqwJnOtI

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Chip Down
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by Chip Down » May 2nd, 2021, 10:56 am

OneSpeed wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 8:46 am
I think it was aliens :-).
I thought we agreed not to talk about that. :geek:

BClick
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by BClick » May 23rd, 2021, 1:05 pm

Was it in relatively low areas / swales? Looks like it in the video. I have seen stuff like this in wet prairie environments and in those cases it was dead, matted algae that had bloomed when the areas were flooded.

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt. Hebo Meadow Mystery

Post by retired jerry » May 23rd, 2021, 1:35 pm

I saw a small patch of that. Ochoco Mountains. North of Prineville. Mill Creek Wilderness. 5000 feet elevation:
20210507_104754.jpg

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