Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, wilderness, & more.
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Some Yosemite National Park areas are accessible; however access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services.
Rainbows are dazzling but ephemeral visitors to Yosemite's waterfalls, mists, and sun-splashed cloudy days. What are your best photos of the interplay of light, water, and ice in Yosemite? 💦⛅️🌈❄️🏞 Photo: Upper Yosemite Fall sports a rainbow early on many winter mornings.
12-18 inches of snow cover Glacier Point Road, allowing for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing from the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area (opening for the season today)! Check at the ranger station near the main ski lodge for information about current conditions and wilderness permits. Keep in mind that snow-covered trails can make way-finding a challenge—be prepared to navigate with a map and compass, even if you're familiar with the area!
They’re back! Our Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers, Laura and Rob, have returned for another season in the high country. They were greeted with a good, dense base of snow; ski conditions are excellent for this time of year and the touring and turning opportunities are limitless. 27 inches of snow is no obstacle to bears, pine martens, weasels, and coyote, which are still active in the high country. Clear skies might be giving way to more snow by early next week... Keep up to date with news from up top every week here and at https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/tmconditions.htm
This Sunday marked Yosemite's 87th annual Christmas Bird Count! In just one day, 34 participants observed over 60 bird species, from great horned owls to hummingbirds. The National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count began in the year 1900 in response to the holiday tradition of the "Side Hunt," where marksmen would vie to bring down the most birds and game in a single day. Today, hundreds of events take place every year across the country, giving birders of all ages and experience levels a chance to gather, celebrate the holidays, and help us better understand and protect our feathered neighbors.
Find a bird count near you or check out trends seen over the years: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count
#CitizenScience #ChristmasBirdCount #FindYourPark
“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
The Mariposa Grove in winter is ruled by silence, snow, and the occasional tapping of a woodpecker drifting through the solemn stands of giant sequoias—a world away from the summer heat and crowds. The road may be closed for the season, but the new Washburn Trail to the Mariposa Grove is open to hikers (see our story for more shots of trail conditions!). Winter provides a time for ecosystems to recover from human impacts. Sequoia cones (which were collected to the vanishing point by summer visitors) are once again gathering on and under the snow. Plants are taking root in areas trampled by footsteps. Animals are returning to their natural diet in the absence of harmful human handouts. Only if we tread lightly, taking and leaving nothing, can these trees continue to host hundreds of thousands of guests under their branches every year. Thanks for your stewardship of this rare and ancient ecosystem for the next generation of visitors...and giant sequoias. "The small sequoia seedlings in this grove still have a long way to go. Imagine the challenges these little trees will face when they are full grown in the year 4000." (from Grove exhibit panel)
Look up! 🙄⬆️ What do you see? For most of us, the world comprises eight to ten feet of vertical space between floor and ceiling. Animals of the air and water have no barriers to vertical movement, but humans tend to lead lives strictly at ground level.
Look up in Yosemite Valley! 🙄⬆️🏞 Massive icicles are hanging 4,800 feet in the air from the vertical face of Half Dome. How does our experience change when we can see—and explore—in the vertical dimension? 🏞🏔🏙🌃🌌🌄
#YosemiteNationalPark #FindYourPark #NewPerspectives #BirdsSwim #FishFly #HumansOptOutside
Farewell to Ben the patrol horse! Ben, a 32-year-old quarter horse, has been working in Yosemite since 1992. He has spent his career patrolling trails throughout the park, being part of honor guards, leading mule trains, and more. Ben will spend his retirement out at pasture with the ranger who trained him in the early 1990s.
Yosemite has about 90 horses and mules who are essential to the operation of the park. When it's time for a horse to retire, we adopt them out to carefully selected people. You can find more information at https://www.nps.gov/yose/getinvolved/horse-mule-adoption.htm.
Take a moment to lose yourself in the roar of Vernal Fall, recorded this week as melting snow and recent rains brought it back from a summer low.
If you plan to hike the Mist Trail corridor this winter, be prepared for snowy and icy conditions. Sections of both the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail are closed seasonally: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/vernalnevadawinter.htm
Bears and squirrels aren't the only wildlife happy about the abundant acorn crop this year. Acorn woodpeckers spend early winter stocking their "granary trees," dead snags bored with up to 50,000 holes. Fastidious housekeepers, families of acorn woodpeckers fill these wooden pantries with thousands of tightly-wedged acorns, allowing them to dry without rotting. As they lose water and shrink slightly, woodpeckers move them to smaller, snugger holes for safekeeping from granary thieves.
Acorn woodpeckers live in family groups of up to 12 individuals, fiercely defending a 15-acre territory surrounding the family granary tree (which may be used for many generations). All females lay their eggs in the same nest and share incubation and care of the young. This communal lifestyle has its drawbacks—females often destroy (and consume) any eggs present in the communal nest before they themselves begin laying, ensuring that their own eggs are equally represented in the clutch. However, once incubation begins, they care for their sisters', mothers', and daughters' eggs as though they were their own.
Are communal animals like the acorn woodpecker behaving selfishly? Selflessly? Or something else entirely?
#YosemiteNationalPark #FindYourPark #AcornWoodpecker #Woodpecker #Adaptations