Greetings from Yosemite National Park

Winter Onset by Mary Moir

Nature’s seasons pass without restraint, and so Autumn, brief yet beautiful, has eluded us, remaining but a memory. Colorful leaves, the last remnants of autumn in Yosemite, fall lazily to the nearly-frozen ground making nature’s first winter blanket.

Early morning dew is no longer light and moist, but rather white and frosty, as nature signals the arrival of winter. The great waterfall takes its sentinel stance, while its white frozen edges glisten in salute of the brief and elusive sunshine. Early snow on mountaintop clothes Half Dome with a fluffy white cap, and the Merced River begins to look like a black pond waiting to be cut with silver skates. Patches of early snow in crack and crevice add bold highlights to the majestic cliffs of the highest elevations. Meanwhile Yosemite visitors anxiously wait for the magical powder to descend upon the Valley and transform it into a skier’s paradise.

In the village, spellbound people stand about in scarf, mitten, and muffler, some caught unprepared for the new cold temperatures. Even the Valley animals don’t quite believe winter has arrived, though, unlike their human counterparts they have all donned their warmer winter coats. Deer and squirrel alike tiptoe through the fallen leaves, as they, too, wait in quiet anticipation for nature’s real winter blanket. Each knows the inevitability of the white shroud, for they are not strangers to this winter wilderness.

There is a subtle peacefulness which accompanies a Yosemite winter. It cannot be measured with words or pictures, but its soothing effect can be seen on the rosy cheeks of every child and adult.


Yosemite National Park

With its sculpted granite rock formations, towering ancient sequoia trees and spectacular waterfalls, it's no wonder Yosemite is one of the most celebrated national parks in the world.

State(s): California

Established: 1890

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