Winter in Yosemite can be one of the most dramatic seasons

Yosemite Valley is always a spectacular place.  But add the peace and serenity from a fresh snowfall in Yosemite and the place is transformed. Gone are the crowds of summer, gone are the folks enjoying the last warm days of fall.  Replacing them are the few die hard travelers and photographers that don’t mind the colder weather, especially if it’s accompanied by snow!

 

I always try to visit just after New Years, and this year my friend’s Sean and Debbie were coming up as well.  (Debbie needs to get a website – or show he work publicly – it’s beautiful!)  I anxiously watched the forecast change, snow levels go up and down, snowfall amounts go up and down, but in the end we did get a nice amount of snow.  Hopefully soon I’ll carve out some time to edit more, these images are just a few of my favorites.

I was wandering around by Swinging Bridge, and looked to up see this coyote out hunting for brunch.  Just as she (or he) reached the tree she jumped and pounced on a little critter.  While winter may not seem the ideal time for wildlife viewing, it actually can be a great time in certain areas.  There are far fewer people to spook animals, and with less leaves on trees animals and birds can be easier to spot.  In addition to the coyotes we also saw ravens, hawks, bushtits, and squirrels.  I also saw rabbit tracks and heard woodpeckers.  And this was without putting in much effort.

Dress warmly, find an out of the way spot and be prepared to sit or stand in one area for a while – you will be surprised how many critters will appear.