Yosemite Nature Notes evening presentation

Yesterday I did something that I rarely make the time to do – I went to one of the Evening Programs put on by either NPS or DNC Interpretation. After a long day at work, it can be hard to motivate for anything other than a relaxing evening at home. However, this program was being given by film-maker, Steve Bumgardner, on the making of Yosemite Nature Notes which I love. Plus Tom planned to spend the evening at a YWPHI meeting, so I thought I’d check it out.

I’m glad I did. I’ve seen most of the Yosemite Nature Notes videos before, especially the most recent ones, but even I saw some new stuff, like the the previews of episodes to come, and enjoyed listening to Steve’s take on the park, on filming in the park, and sharing Yosemite’s magic with people. I suppose it isn’t that surprising that a guy who makes his living telling stories on film, can put together a fun series of stories in person too.

We got to watch three of the finished YNNs, starting with the most recent video on Horsetail Falls, the Glaciers Episode, and then the Big Trees Episode which narrowly won out over the very popular Frazil Ice video as the parting shot. Plus, a couple of shorter pieces – some ‘making of’ shots, and a timelapse of Yosemite’s crowded spots which drew out-loud giggles from the crowd in many places.

During the making of sequences, Steve talks on camera about how difficult it is for people to get to remote corners of the park, like Mt. McClure and Mt Lyell where the glaciers still live, and the pleasure of being able to share some part of that experience with people via camera. I hadn’t thought of these films in quite that way before, but it’s true. I’ve been asked if there’s enough to do in Yosemite for 3 days, and these films are the start to a visual answer to that question. If I think about all the things that make Yosemite special, the ideas for film topics goes on and on. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Moonbow episode, and whatever comes of the backcountry ski/backcountry hut footage. What about the High Sierra Camps? Big Time? Climbers and Big Wall climbing? Each person who has spent time in Yosemite has this running list of things in their mind of what makes this place so special. There are rafters, and hikers, and painters, and people that hang a hammock out by the river and spend all day with a good book. What kinds of things do they think are amazing? What else belongs on that list?

5 thoughts on “Yosemite Nature Notes evening presentation

  1. Joey

    You make a great point about how so many people have so many different takes on what makes Yosemite special. I was always a bit frustrated when employees scoffed at visitors who only passed through for a day or two and expected to “see the park.” They’d protest that it was hardly enough time to actually take in the park.

    My first trip to Yosemite was on a college road trip. I was barely there a day and a half. 6 months later I applied to work there and spent a summer there. I’ve been back a few times since for 4 days to a week.

    My grandma was born in Yosemite when my great-grandpa was working for the NPS. For her, returning to the park every few years means staying in the valley – she absolutely would NOT have it any other way – and visiting the homes she lived in back in Yosemite Village. She’s happy to sit in a rocking chair at Camp Curry for a whole day. We were out there with my grandparents a few years ago and they started singing some old songs from the ’40s and ’50s with a few other older couples. They went on for at least 30-40 minutes and had a crowd around them. I felt like it gave me a sense of what things may have been like back when the Currys were running the show.

    I can’t imagine visiting Yosemite without a few hikes, but others can’t imagine a visit without a climb or without an afternoon in a meadow. No two experiences with that place are the same.

    Great post. I love Steve’s work!

  2. Joey

    Side note: my wife and I are in San Diego at the moment on vacation (we’re from Minnesota) and she’s said a few times that she wishes we could go to Yosemite. She said she feels like we have to since we’re in the same state, even if it is 8 hours away. It only took one visit 4 months after we were married to get her hooked on the place too!

  3. Theresa

    Hey – so are you planning to visit the park then? It would be great to meet you in person! If you are, send me an email and lets see if we can coordinate something.

    I didn’t realize that you had such a long-standing background in Yosemite. What a great perspective!

    I don’t know if scoff is the right word, but I definitely had to giggle when that visitor asked me if there was enough to do in the park for three days. Just yesterday, I had another one of those conversations that reminded me of yet another “most beautiful” place inside the park that I hadn’t explored yet. Obviously, I think there are years worth of things to see and do here. That’s not saying that the one-afternoon trip has no value, just that there is so much to love about this place, I’m glad that Steve’s videos can share some small part of that.

  4. Christine Sculati

    Thanks for sharing your experience from the Yosemite Nature Notes program. I love those videos too.

    Recently, I was inspired to create a clip to capture the dramatic shift from winter to spring this year. I have been going to Yosemite for years, primarily to rock climb and hike in the Valley and backcountry, and I love to hear stories from other people who are spellbound by the grandeur of this amazing place.

    1. Administrator

      Hey Christine – I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. Steve is going to be giving these presentations every Tuesday starting in June, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out for yourself if you find yourself in the neighborhood. I’m not sure exactly what time they will be, but usually they’re conveniently evening-ish so they don’t conflict with hiking and climbing too much.

      I really enjoyed looking through the film clip you created too. It looks like a great hiking adventure especially with all that snow on the ground!

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