• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

High Country Notebook

About This Blog

NOTE: This blog has been discontinued, however, future posts similar to these will appear in Yosemite Ranger Notes.

Ranger-naturalists have been interpreting Yosemite and its natural and cultural treasures for visitors since its early days as a park. In this blog, some of Yosemite's High Country Naturalists share recent observations from areas north of Yosemite Valley. Topics focused on in the blog are:

Wildlife and Other Sightings:

In Yosemite, especially in the high country, we have a unique opportunity to step beyond our cars and the chatter of our daily lives into the realm of the other than human world. The wilder life of animals, plants, fungi, rocks, and even air and water, is ever-changing and fascinating to pay closer attention to.

Roadside Naturalist:

With over 100 miles of paved roads within Yosemite National Park's boundaries, visitors can spend a great deal of time in their cars traveling around the park. Amid all of the grand scenery there are smaller natural wonders to appreciate as well. With a good eye and a few hints from us you can spot these things along the roadside, even while driving the speed limit. If you wish to stop, please do so only where parking is provided off the roadway.

Bird Monitoring and Research:

Yosemite National Park provides essential habitat for over 165 species of migrating, wintering, and breeding birds, in addition to nearly 100 species recorded as transient or vagrant. For nearly two decades, the breeding populations of songbirds in Yosemite have been studied in one of the longest continuous research projects in the Park. Each summer, from late May to early August, researchers work at bird banding stations throughout Yosemite. They collect valuable information about bird populations in Yosemite by capturing, banding, and then releasing birds following a strict scientific protocol. This year, this important work is being funded by the Yosemite Conservancy.

Wildflowers of White Wolf:

The White Wolf area is a botanically-diverse and simultaneously accessible part of the park. We'll give you a taste of what we see blooming throughout the summer. Please help protect the flowers and plants by not picking flowers and staying on trails to observe them.

Mather Musings:

The Mather District of Yosemite National Park includes such diverse areas as White Wolf, Hetch Hetchy, Crane Flat, May Lake, North Dome and Hodgdon Meadow. Here you'll find some collected thoughts of Ranger Naturalists working throughout this unique district.

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Blooming on the Trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake (selected photos)

September 01, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Blooming on the Trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake (selected photos)

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Flowers Seen Blooming this Season (full list)

September 01, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

This will be the last update for wildflowers along the Lukens Lake Trail for the season. About 70 different species of plants were seen blooming, identified and recorded between early July and late August, with quite a number of Aster Family members (and some others) not included for lack of time to key them out. At this point, most of the flowers have gone to fruit (and many into the stomachs of animals fattening up for the winter). Here is a list of all recorded species.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Monkeyflower Research

September 01, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Although we’re nearing the end of a lovely wildflower season in the high country, a few monkeyflowers, especially the primrose monkeyflower, are still hanging on. A woman named Kelly Carscadden has been engaged in some fascinating research. After bombarding her with a lot of questions, she agreed to send some pictures and write up some notes about her research to share here.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - August 25, 2012

September 01, 2012 Posted by: BW and AH - Mather District Volunteer and Interpretive Rangers

Species (by family) seen blooming on August 25 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - August 18, 2012

August 25, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on August 18 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - August 13, 2012

August 18, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on August 13 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - August 5, 2012

August 11, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on August 5 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Sierra Gentian, Crimson Columbine, and Giant Mountain Larkspur

August 11, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Although the wildflower season is coming to an end, there has been a nice variety of wildflowers still seen in and around the White Wolf area - check out these recent sightings!

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - July 29, 2012

August 04, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on July 29 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Photo Series

July 26, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

The White Wolf/Lukens Lake area is a botanically-diverse and simultaneously accessible part of the park. Here’s a taste of what we see blooming along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake this week… Please help protect the flowers and plants by not picking flowers and staying on trails to observe them.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - July 23, 2012

July 26, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on July 23 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Wildflowers of White Wolf: Species List - July 15, 2012

July 26, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Species (by family) seen blooming on July 15 along the trail from White Wolf to Lukens Lake. If you’re in the White Wolf area and see a flower in bloom along the trail that we don’t have listed, we would love to have your help in keeping our list as complete as possible. A great way to let us know of your find is to talk to a White Wolf ranger at one of our free ranger-guided programs listed in the Yosemite Guide newspaper.

 

Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.