Yosemite nature and photography links
color drawings and descriptions of common Yosemite birds: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/birds-common.htm
http://ww.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/birdingtips.htm has birding advice and ethics, including that you should not divulge locations of special status birds such as American Peregrine Falcons and a dozen others.
Yosemite nature podcasts: http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/ynn.htm
episode #1 is wildflowers
color drawings of common Yosemite wildflowers: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/common-wildflowers.htm includes a link to viewing locations for those currently in bloom
Look up wildflowers at the California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park site at:
At a Yosemite Assn page, FAQs from the Park Service, including:
When are the wildflowers best?
."Wildflowers vary according to location, time of year and the preceding winter and spring weather. The best wildflower displays are:
• Mid-March into April in the foothills outside the park: In the best years there are carpets of California poppies, baby blue eyes, western redbud, etc. Highway 140 through the Merced River Canyon can have a spectacular display.
• Mid-June into August in Yosemite's higher elevations: The meadows at Crane Flat and along the Glacier Point and Tioga Roads present beautiful wildflower displays most years.
Yosemite Valley never really gets a "carpeted" display of wildflowers. Perhaps the heavy grazing pressure and soil compaction the Valley meadows received many decades ago has caused this. However, the dogwood tree blossoms in early May are usually a nice display as are the bushy western azalea of late May into mid-June. All summer there are little pockets of flowers scattered about Yosemite Valley."
Ten Tips for Wildflower Photography in the Merced River Canyon
"The most diverse mix of wildflowers is actually just outside the park's Western boundary on the trail above the South Fork of the Merced River that extends from historic Savage's Trading Post to Hite's Cove. Over fifty species of flowers may be found between March and May along this picturesque path."
From the Yosemite Daily Report of October 16, 2003
" Fall Color Advisory
All spring and summer leaves have been using pigments (chlorophylls,
xanthophyll, and carotenoids) to make food from air, water, and sunlight.
As temperatures cool and days get shorter, leaves on deciduous trees stop
producing chlorophylls and the familiar green color fades away to reveal
the other pigments which have been masked all season. Quaking aspen and
big-leaf maple display the yellow carotenoids. Continued sunny days and
cool nights traps sugars in leaves and some leaves will form the red
pigment anthocyanin, coloring trees like dogwoods or the non-native sugar
maple near the Chapel, or vines like the poison-oak along the El Portal
Road a brilliant orange, pink, or even purple. The best autumn colors occur
under conditions like we're having now--clear, dry, and cool but not
freezing weather. The degree of color may vary from tree to tree and even
leaf to leaf. Leaves directly exposed to the sun may turn red, while shaded
leaves may be yellow. Leaves on some trees like white alders or California
buckeyes (which are "summer deciduous" as a drought adaptation) just wither
and turn brown. Leaves on marsescent trees, like some California black
oaks, will linger all winter and only fall next spring when new leaves
emerge. Live oaks, tanoaks, bay laurel and the conifers will keep their
newest leaves throughout the winter to get a head start on food production
next spring. (Adapted from Why Leaves Change Color, USDA FS-12 and
Physiology of Woody Plants, Kramer and Kozlowski, by Park Forester Brian
Find a field guide to Sierra birds at:
Cornell University birding page
How to ID Birds Learn some of the secrets of bird identification using silhouettes, posture, flight pattern, size and habitat, in addition to key field marks.
Where to Bird, Bird Guide, Gear Guid, Attracting Birds, Conservation Links
Featuring the Sounds of Birds, Frogs, Mammals, and Insects
:The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is a national, non-profit nature education organization with headquarters in Jamestown, New York, birthplace of world renowned artist and naturalist, Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996). Our mission is to create passion for and knowledge of the natural world in the hearts and minds of children by inspiring and guiding the study of nature in our schools and communities."
Roadside Geology of Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park Geology: Arch Rock to Big Oak Flat Entrance (40.2 miles, 64.7 km)is at
To calculate sunset, sunrise, moonrise for trips go to http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/rs-one-day-us/
Make a custom star map for the place and dates of your next trip at:
The site uses zip codes to design the star charts.
Yosemite is 95389. Denali National Park is 99755. Kings Canyon is 93633. Grand Teton is 83012. Mount Rainier is 98304. Olympic is 98362. Redwood is 95531.
Some great pictures of climbing as well as beginning and advanced photo tips for hikers, climbers:
The Yosemite Assn used to have a page of photo tips from photographer Michael Frye which included:
In the May 2, 2003 notes he says "Nice late-afternoon sunlight strikes Bridalveil Fall about an hour-and-a-half before sunset (about 6:30 p.m.) in May and June. ...The best light on Upper Yosemite Fall occurs around 10 a.m. and about 3 to 4 p.m."
In the June 20 notes he says that the best light for photos of Vernal Fall is from 5 to 6 p.m. and the best time for Nevada Fall is 6:30 to 7 p.m.
Other notes tell us that the dogwood peak bloom should be early to mid May and the redbud in mid March. He has notes about Horsetail Fall in a February section. Best fall color varies from year to year from mid October to mid November.
November, December, and January are the best months to photograph Half Dome and El Capitan. From late afternoon until sunset, low-angle sunlight highlights the texture on the face of Half Dome. Late in the day, El Capitan is also flushed with warm light. (At the website he gives specific locations to photograph from).
Ten tips for photographing Yosemite lunar rainbows
Predictions of when the best Yosemite lunar rainbows will be are at: http://uweb.txstate.edu/~do01/
The author recommends taking upper Yosemite Fall shots from the parking lot just north of Sentinal Bridge, shuttle bus stop 11 Yosemite Valley free shuttle bus
Intellicast.com map of current (within an hour or so) lightning strikes in the U.S. is at:
lightning strikes map
The Mountains of California by John Muir can be read at:
Can I recommend these chapters?
VII THE GLACIER MEADOWS
XII SIERRA THUNDER-STORMS
XIII THE WATER-OUZEL
Black Bear Management Trends
How much water will there be in the Yosemite waterfalls?
How to find the location of John Muir's cabin (hang nest) in Yosemite Valley
Lembert Dome Hike
May Lake to Mount Hoffman
Thunderstorm and lightning safety
Tuolumne trip wildflowers
World's greatest swimming hole
Yosemite Valley free shuttle bus
Yosemite Valley Rafting Advice
Yosemite visitor centers
Park Service historical photos are at:
click on NPS photos