• Catching up with Yosemite Nature Notes

    by  • December 13, 2015 • Sierra Foothills

    Yosemite Nature Notes

    Yosemite Nature Notes is a video podcast series that tells unique stories about the natural and human history of Yosemite National Park. Produced by the National Park Service, this series features park rangers, scientists, historians and park visitors as they discuss the diverse plants and animals that make Yosemite their home, as well as the towering cliffs, giant waterfalls and mountain peaks that are known throughout the world.

    Yosemite Nature Notes 26: Black Bears

    Hundreds of black bears make their home in Yosemite and seeing a wild bear is often the highlight of a trip to the park. Bears often remind us of ourselves, and the complex relationship between bears and humans has changed over time as we have strived to keep bears wild.

    Episode 25: Ghost Towns

    Sitting on the crest of the Sierra Nevada, Tioga Pass is a gateway to Yosemite’s past. In 1880, a gold and silver rush erupted here, and miners flocked to Tioga Hill in droves.

    Today, the ghosts of these miners work can be seen in the stone walls of Dana Village, rusty machinery at Bennettville, and the log cabins of the Golden Crown Mine. Even today’s popular Tioga Road was once a simple wagon road built to access the wealth of minerals that were never found.

    Episode 24: Monarchs & Milkweed

    Take a microcosmic safari through a field of milkweed and discover a whole world of life, from bees to wasps to hummingbirds to butterflies. The charismatic monarch butterfly is completely dependent on milkweed for its survival, and places like Yosemite National Park offer protection for this often overlooked plant.

    Episode 23: Birdsongs

    Throughout the park, unique soundscapes can be found within the beautiful landscapes. Open your eyes and ears to the birdsongs of Yosemite.

    Yosemite Grant: Inspiring Generations

    Signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864, the Yosemite Grant set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias for protection, establishing the very idea of today’s national parks. With filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan.

    Episode 22: Yosemite Nature Notes

    Starting in 1922 as a type-written news sheet, Yosemite Nature Notes, the periodical, went on to become a charming magazine with over 400 issues during its 40 years of publication.

    Fall Moments

    A moving portrait of Yosemite in Fall, a time of year when the hustle and bustle of summer can be left behind.

    Episode 21: Snow Plants

    These striking red plants are a common Yosemite roadside attraction in the springtime, but most park visitors are confused about what they’re seeing. Is it a plant, a mushroom, or maybe a visitor from another planet? Learn about the unique relationship between snow plants, fungi and trees, as well as the hummingbirds and insects that depend on their nectar.

    One Day in Yosemite

    On Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, thirty filmmakers spread throughout Yosemite National Park to create this portrait of the park and the people who visit and work there.

    Episode 20: Granite

    Many national parks were founded for their geology, and Yosemite is known throughout the world for its exceptional high cliffs and rounded domes. Visitors to the park, from hikers to rock climbers, experience a landscape dominated by granite.

    Episode 19: Night Skies

    Yosemite’s vast acreage and remote location protect some of the darkest night skies in the country. Astronomers, photographers, and city dwellers flock to the park to take advantage of this unique opportunity to view planets, stars, and galaxies.

    Episode 18: Water

    Water is the life-blood of Yosemite National Park. The Tuolumne and Merced rivers water some of the most productive farmland on the Earth, and urban dwellers throughout the state depend on the Sierra Nevada snowpack for their domestic water needs.

    Winter Moments

    While most visitors come during the summer months, winter is a special time of year in Yosemite National Park.


    Episode 17: Black Oaks

    Changing appearance throughout the seasons, the black oak is one of the iconic trees of Yosemite Valley, and its acorn is used for food by both animals and people.

    Episode 16: Sky Islands

    Throughout the Sierra Nevada, high flat plateaus are found at elevations around twelve and thirteen thousand feet. These isolated sky islands are the home to unique plant communities that are found nowhere else.

    Episode 15: Moonbows

    From the Milky Way to the moon, the beauty of Yosemite is on display 24 hours per day. During the full moon of the the spring and early summer, lunar rainbows, also known as moonbows, can be seen on many park waterfalls.

    People in Yosemite

    A time lapse study of people and nature in Yosemite National Park.

    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.

    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: Glaciers

    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

    Summertime 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.

    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: Maps

    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

    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: Wilderness

    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: Wildflowers

    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.


    Courtesy of NPS-Yosemite Nature Notes


    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.