The forest in Yosemite Valley actually looks healthier than in 2017 when there were many dead trees from bark beetle infestation. The park service was taking down a lot of dead trees when we visited in winter 2020 and the results show. But I worry for the future of the remaining trees - look at the difference in snowpack between the two years.
This video shows re-photography from the same point off of Hardin Flat Road from 2014, 2019 and 2022. It's encouraging to see the forest growing back but nearly a decade later, the trees are still quite small and they are a dense monoculture.
Our winter tradition is to snowshoe out to Dewey Point but this year there is so little snow, we hiked the trail without snowshoes. There were several exposed dirt patches in the trail like this.
[Left] Moss growing in rings around the tree and [Right] scallop pattern in snow from tree trunk
I love the view from Dewey Point. You can see how little snow there is this year as compared to the same date in 2016.
We hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls on our last day. We were overdressed for the 60-degree temperatures and envious of people we passed who were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Many people don't know that Yosemite Falls actually consists of three falls, which you can see from one of my favorite overlooks off of the main trail on the way to the top.
Because the weather was so warm, the falls were flowing at nearly peak spring melt capacity and I was enthralled with the movement of the water.
[Left] On our way down the Yosemite Falls Trail we noticed this mysterious box with graffiti and many locks. Any ideas what it might be for?
[Right] I never thought I'd see a takeout lunch in the Ahwahnee Dining Room but that's the way they roll during the pandemic; it was better quality than the lodge cafeteria and more expensive.
Hope you enjoy this meditative moment of sun reflection patterns in the Merced River. Filmed at Swinging Bridge in Yosemite Valley.