Yosemite Landscapes from Mia’s Point of View: Yosemite Photos 2014.11.17

Seeing Yosemite from a 9 Year Old’s Perspective 
By John P. DeGrazio 
Ansel Adams Fallen Jeffrey Pine by Mia DeGrazio (9)

I recently spent some quality family time in Yosemite on a hike to Sentinel Dome with my 4 and 9 year old girls. It’s become a DeGrazio tradition to allow each girl an opportunity to summit her first peak around her fourth birthday. On this trip, Sofia (4) handled the trek with ease. She proudly reached the summit and immediately demanded her lunch and sweet reward. It would be dishonest to say it was a can of peaches. She opted for a Jolly Rancher instead.

Mia has summited Sentinel a handful of times and barely broke a sweat. I could sense she needed a little more challenge so I handed her a camera and told her to make at least 10 photos. Her objectives were to shoot landscapes that included the Ansel Adams fallen Jeffrey pine (with no people in it which was no small feat on this day), Half Dome with foreground elements, and other snow covered peaks.

Half Dome with Weathering Pan By Mia DeGrazio (9)

Watching my daughter carefully composing these images was a bigger thrill than I could have expected. She even inspired her little sister top make a few of her own. Later in the day, we walked the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, and she made a few more photos. Today, we will be sharing Mia’s images. Something tells me there will be more in the future.

The Lyell Range by Mia DeGrazio (9)
Fallen Jeffrey Pine and El Capitan by Mia DeGrazio (9)
Half Dome with Foreground Rock by Mia DeGrazio (9)
Mule Deer Grazing on Falling Leaves by Mia DeGrazio (9)
Stoneman Bridge in Fall by Mia DeGrazio (9)


Yosemite Winters; Where Do the Bears Go?

Yosemite Black Bear and her Cubs by John P. DeGrazio

There have been some questions on a few of our recent Yosemite Adventure Hikes about the wildlife and what they do in winter. As we walked along the Inspiration Point trail, we noticed some fresh black bear scat along the uncovered trail. Typically that trail would be buried under at least a few inches of snow in late January, but we are surviving through one of the driest winters on record here in the Sierra Nevada. That brought up the question about bears and if they hibernate.

Peek A Boo Bear Cub in Yosemite by John P. DeGrazio

There was a very good article in today’s SF Gate online “Sierra’s bears wide-awake during warm winter”. The article discussed how bears are not true hibernators, and will actually forage for food in the warm and dry conditions that we are experiencing this January. Here are a few photos of a mother bear and her two cubs that I took way back in 2008 while they were foraging in late spring. Although they have reported more bear activity in Lake Tahoe, there have not been many bear encounters in Yosemite. Please remember never to approach or feed a wild bear no matter how desperate they may appear.

Yosemite Black Bear Cubs on a Log by John P. DeGrazio