Wildflowers in Winter

Erik, celebrating the wildflowers
Erik, celebrating the wildflowers
Today’s the first day of Daylight’s Savings, and Tom, in his typically astute fashion, points out that it should be a National Holiday. The rate of accidents increases when the times shift because people have messed up sleep schedules. It would be much safer to have an extra day on the weekend to adapt. Plus, in this case, it gives us more of a chance to celebrate the long evening hours.

We piled a bunch of friends in to the car today and wandered down canyon to take pictures of the wildflowers. It was a gorgeously warm and sunny day, and the poppies, as everyone has been claiming, are out in force already this year. When we stopped at Hites Cove, we also saw huge clusters of blooming Popcorn flowers, Blue Dicks, Gold Fields, Shooting Stars, Baby Blue Eyes… and all the flowers that we don’t know or can’t remember. It’s an amazing display. The lupines aren’t out yet, and I always look forward to the Fairy Lanterns, so I suspect we’ll be taking more trips down there to watch the spring bloom.

When we got back to Yosemite West, it was almost shocking to see the amount of snow that was still there. Being able to drive back and forth between seasons is like getting to travel through time. Turns out, Spring is only about 5 miles from Winter, as the crow flies.

For more pics…

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Winter Bears

Bear Buddies
Bear Buddies
Yosemite’s bears, like most black bears, usually settle down in the winter time and hibernate. (There’s some confusion about the term because different animals hibernate in different ways, but black bears enter a state where they don’t move around, eat, drink, urinate or defecate for many months, and according to the North American Bear Center, leading physiologists have returned to just using the word hibernate, again.) But this year, there are a couple of bears in Yosemite that seem to staying up late to explore winter, (there’s a children’s story in there somewhere) and Tom and I were lucky enough to see them a few weeks ago.

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Not the Usual Yosemite Fare

This is a strange weekend for me. It is filled with activity options that wouldn’t normally occur to me as Things to Do in Yosemite. When I got here 5 years ago, my list was pretty short – climb, hike (to climbs) and backpack (for far away climbs), but the more I’ve lived here the more I get exposed to all of the other things that are going on in Yosemite.

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Badger Pass powder

Tom Feb 14
Tom skiing
With all the snow that has been falling lately in Yosemite, Tom and I have been taking advantage of having Badger Pass basically in our backyard. Even on weekends that we have dedicated to working on house projects, we can often manage to sneak in a least a few turns. Not only has the snow been falling, but it’s been falling low and light, which makes for excellent skiing.

On a personal note, this year I’m starting to feel like it would be OK again for me to get shaken up a little bit, and take a few falls, if you know what I mean. I’m still pretty tentative, but on a relative basis it’s a huge step up from where I was last year. When the snow was firmer I got in a few runs on the NASTAR course, trying to go as fast as I could, and now I’m hitting some rougher terrain with more confidence, and taking some falls. I keep thinking it would be fun to ski some steeps in Tahoe one of these weekends, but of course there is always so much to do.

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Horsetail Falls Analysis

Natural Firefall at Horsetail Fallsphoto by T Lambert I just came across this amazing analysis of the best time to photograph Horsetail Falls in February, and wanted to leave it here so I don’t lose it for myself. Photographing Horsetail Falls (the Natural Firefall) in February has become a substantial Event in Yosemite. Nancy Robbins … Read more

Yosemite Snowfall

North Dome and Merced River OK, it’s taken a while, but I promised Tom I’d put some pics up of the recent snowfall here in Yosemite. It was amazing, to say the least, and I showed up a bit late more than once because I wanted to walk to work the long way and take … Read more

Canon EOS Rebel XSi floods Yosemite

Theresa with new Canon XSi Really. This camera seems to be everywhere these days. It’s the hip thing to buy in Yosemite – a Canon XSi – all the cool people have one or are getting one. Ours arrived on Monday, and I’ve begun my first experiments with it. So far it’s just a big, … Read more

Yosemite Pano Project – part 2: the hiking

The Pano project was also the perfect excuse to go to a Yosemite spot that I’d never been to before. Plus, the prospect of hiking with strangers also provided motivation for prioritizing some ‘training’ hikes leading up to the end of the month. Between the Fern Ledge hike, and the Pano hike, I took a … Read more