Spring Snow

View from my house this morning
View from my house this morning
Yesterday, the National Weather Service was calling for a winter weather advisory in effect starting at 6pm, and it started to rain, hard, at my office in the Valley about 5:45pm. When I drove up to the house from work, the snow level was right at the Wawona Tunnel. I drove in one end in the middle of the spring rain, and came out the other end in a winter blizzard. It was a bit Alice in Wonderland, and completely delightful. MM, who came for dinner last night, says that it seems like that happens a lot – the rain snow transition in the tunnel – and we tried to figure out why that would be. Nothing we came up with seems particularly plausible. Probably Magic.

This morning there was about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground at our house, and of course, before we could get out of the driveway the plow came by and buried us in a good deal more. Fortunately, I have an excellent snow removal service – Tom + shovel, and we were able to get out with a bit of slipping and sliding but nothing major.

Back in the Valley this morning, the big features were all lost in the clouds, but I thought the patches of green grass surrounded with snow were particularly striking.

Mariposa Symphony Orchestra at The Ahwahnee

I found out today that the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra is giving a free concert at The Ahwahnee featuring New York violin virtuoso, Lewis Wong. Fascinating, because until this point I didn’t know that there was a Mariposa Symphony Orchestra. The concert is going to take place in the Great Lounge from 1-3pm on Sunday, April 26. Seating is first-come, first-served, and I haven’t been to a Symphony Performance in ages, and I’d love to drop in. Sometimes the things that go on here in Yosemite can be quite surprising, and not quite what I expected.

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One Sentence Journal

Sometimes, change comes in small packages. A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step – and all that. Another little gem from The Happiness Project author, Gretchen Rubin – the idea of a One-Sentence Journal. Keeping a journal, or a blog, sometimes seems like it would take too much energy, but Gretchen came up with the idea of just doing one sentence each day. That’s not too much – a single sentence. And then, if you feel it, when you sit down to write, you may find that you have two, three or four sentences in there just waiting to come out. If not, at least you made the beginning.

There was a writer for Runner’s World, many years ago, who suggested a similar strategy for running workouts. He would force himself to run the first mile – and then if he wasn’t feeling it that day, he would feel content with just calling it a day. But there ended up being many days, when the hardest part was getting started, and convincing himself to take the first few steps led to a productive and rewarding run.

I wonder what the equivalent of a One Sentence Journal is for goal-setting, weight loss/fitness, playing the piano, drawing, or any other thing that I aspire to do.

Yosemite Flower Report

Bird's Eye Gilia
Bird's Eye Gilia
Tom and I dodged down to Hite Cove to check up on the flowers there and get a little run in. The run was marvelous. We went all the way to the Cove, and I felt great – although my legs were cramping a little toward the end (not sure why). Plus, the flowers were spectacular.

A friend had been a little worried that the poppies were past. True, they may not be as abundant as they have been, but there are still plenty spectacular. Right now, it seems like the best display is further up-canyon, near El Portal. For my money, the hillsides have gotten even more interesting because instead of uninterrupted carpets of orange, the orange is punctuated with many other flowers and colors. I think the show stopper this trip, were the beautiful patches of Bird’s Eye Gilia (of which I got the Gilia and the B, but had to look up the rest).. or the RedBud. RedBud is always amazing when it is in bloom.

Many of the people that I stopped to ask about flower names could only shrug. To my, “Ooo – do you know what kind of flower that is?” one guy smiled and said, “The pretty kind”. True enough. Still, for those who are interested in this kind of thing (and are understanding of my imperfect flower identification skills)…

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Zappos legendary service as good as they say it is

Zappos. I’ve heard so much about their legendary service, and had a chance to experience it first hand today. The short version is that I bought a pair of boots there, that I’ve been dreaming about for years, and when I got them a zipper was broken. It was terribly sad, but you don’t find out about a company’s service until something goes wrong, and at that point Zappos transcended all my expectations.

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Village Grill Opening Tomorrow

The Village Grill is opening tomorrow with a great new menu, and today people from NPS and DNC were invited to a ‘tasting’, and a chance to take a look at what changes have been made to the menu. Chef Gover, who they have brought in this year to manage the Grill in addition to the Yosemite Lodge Mountain Room and the Food Court, presented a few of the changes that he put into place before we all stood in line for our food. The Grill is the closest source of calories to my desk (excluding the vending machine in the lobby), so I end up eating there fairly often during the summer months. I like absorbing a little sunshine while eating outside on the deck (even if it does frustrate me when people feed the wildlife). So, I’m glad that there seem to be some big new improvements in the menu.

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Pets and Birds

Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe
Spring is here. I pulled my bike out of storage today and have been enjoying the freedom of that transportation – so much more fun, faster than walking and sometimes even faster than traveling by car and then finding a place to park.

The birds are returning too and mornings are filled with bird songs. I recognize only a few right now, but even so it’s like having old friends call to you from across the street. I imagine that knowing bird songs is like knowing a secret language – that if you knew how to listen you could learn all kinds of things about the world around you even with your eyes closed. I wouldn’t classify myself as a birder or anything, but I really do like those little guys. That’s why this announcement to locals within the park caught my eye.

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