• Enjoying Yosemite, a family tradition

    by  • March 3, 2011 • Weather, Wildlife, Winter

    As some of you know, I live very near Yosemite National Park, a place where my family has vacationed since I was a small child.

    My parents traveled here in 1950 and fell in love, as a young married couple, with the incredible granite walled canyon and the Merced River running thrugh it all. We camped, hiked to the falls and drove around in the family convertible, looking up at the tall trees.

    Map showing Yosemite

    Where is Yosemite?

    Meet Yosemite Steve
    One of the best ways to appreciate the park is to watch this Yosemite Nature Notes series,  produced by Steven M. Bumgardner, who has lived and worked in Sequoia and Yosemite Park for 20 years.

    First check out his fascinating time-lapse video of the people in the park.  Notice the climbers on El Capitan.

    Now, for the entire series:
    Today is introduced the newest in the series, ‘holy grail’ of Yosemite photographers, Horsetail Fall and its ethereal glow, only occurring in two weeks of February. Take a look.

    Episode 14

    Horsetail Fall

    Horsetail Fall is a small, ephemeral waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. For two weeks in February, the setting sun striking the waterfall creates a deep orange glow that resembles Yosemite’s historic “Firefall.”

    Episode 13
    Rangers’ Club

    While Yosemite National Park is known for its towering cliffs and giant waterfalls, the National Park Service also protects significant cultural resources. The Rangers’ Club is one of five buildings in Yosemite with National Historic Landmark status.

    Episode 12

    Yosemite National Park is famous for its spectacular glacially carved landscape. Although glaciers have come and gone many times in the past, there are still two active glaciers near Yosemite’s highest peaks.

    Episode 11
    Big Trees

    Most of Yosemite National Park is blanketed with vast forests, and with abundant precipitation and warm temperatures, these mountains are home to the largest trees in the world.

    Episode 10
    Rock Fall

    Since the glaciers retreated around 15,000 years ago, rock fall has been the major force of change in Yosemite Valley. Geologists work to understand this force of nature in order to protect the millions of visitors who come here each year.

    Episode 9
    Frazil Ice

    Summer visitors to Yosemite National Park miss many of the unique events of winter  and early spring. Frazil ice flows are dramatic natural events that occur in the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley during March and April.


    Episode 8
    Snow Line

    Throughout the winter, the elevation where rain turns to snow changes with each new storm. Join a meteorologist and park scientists as we chase the snow line in Yosemite

    Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite Valley Photo by Sue Langley


    Episode 7
    Tuolumne River

    Explore the Tuolumne River from its glacial headwaters at 13,000 feet down through Tuolumne Meadows and into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Scientists and rangers describe the power this river has on the landscape and on the people who visit it.

    Episode 6

    When Joseph Walker passed through in 1833, there were none, but today, thousands of maps portray Yosemite National Park. From a land grant created during the Civil War, to modern computer mapping, these maps also tell the story of the protection of Yosemite.

    Episode 5

    Snow plays an important role in Yosemite’s ecology while providing water for cities and farms. Winter visitors to the park experience a landscape transformed by snow.


    Episode 4
    Half Dome

    The granite monolith of Half Dome is recognized throughout the world as an icon of Yosemite National Park. Thousands of visitors hike to the summit each year, rewarded with spectacular views and an experience that is not easily forgotten.

    Episode 3

    Although most visitors are familiar with Yosemite Valley, 95 percent of Yosemite National Park is designated Wilderness. Free from roads and cars, this vast wilderness offers spectacular scenery, natural quiet, and the opportunity for solitude and reflection.


    Episode 2
    Yosemite Falls

    Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America, and is a powerful presence in Yosemite Valley. From winter ice to spring flood to autumn dryness, this magnificent waterfall is a dynamic force of nature.


    Episode 1

    From foothill elevations to high mountain peaks, hundreds of flower species are found throughout Yosemite National Park. Rangers and scientists discuss the rich botanical history and some of the rare plants found here.

    Note: This post will be kept under the Really Cool Links heading along with the Sierra Nevada webcams. The webcam list includes one of Yosemite Valley, which I check most everyday.
    Link to a really neat map of Yosemite.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.