See the world through a naturalist’s eyes, courtesy of our team in Yosemite. We’ll be posting videos and other resources about plants, animals, geology and more. Check back often for new content!
Some Yosemite birds fly south for winter, but the Clark’s nutcracker sticks around for the cold, snowy months in the Sierra Nevada. These mountain-dwelling gray and black birds have a special trick for making it through the season. Learn more from Cory!
Know Your Snow Plants
Have you ever glimpsed a flash of red peeking out of the soil in Yosemite? If you’ve hiked among the park’s pines and giant sequoias in spring, you might have come across Sarcodes sanguinea, or snow plants. Join our lead naturalist, Cory Goehring, for a quick backyard botany session to get the scoop on these scarlet forest-dwellers.
We hope Cory’s walks in the woods inspire you to try out some backyard botany at home! See what plants you can spot in your yard or neighborhood. What do you notice about how and where they grow? Do they attract bees, birds or other animals?
Lupines: The Wolves of the Wildflower World?
In this short video, our lead naturalist, Cory Goehring, offers a quick look at some of the Sierra’s most eye-catching flowers and their role in the natural world, and dispels a myth tied to their carnivorous name.
Lupines and other native wildflowers are a key element of meadow restoration work in Yosemite, including a Conservancy-funded effort to improve habitat for pollinators, the birds, bats, bees and other animals that help many plants reproduce.
Since 2016, with support from our donors, park botanists — and more than 2,000 volunteers — have planted lupine, milkweed, penstemon, yarrow and other native flowers across more than 16 acres in the Valley, including in Cook’s and Ahwahnee meadows and near the El Capitan Picnic Area. Their goal: to create a habitat refuge for pollinators, including monarch butterflies, whose numbers have dropped precipitously.
Want to help pollinators by creating your own “homegrown national park”? Use the National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder to figure out which species of lupine or other native flowers you can plant where you live.
Symbiosis in Action
Ever wonder what creates the streaks on Yosemite’s granite walls? Find out in this short “naturalist nugget” with Cory!
A Great Time of Year to be a Bird
Join Pete Devine, a naturalist with Yosemite Conservancy, for a spring wander in El Portal, just outside Yosemite National Park. Pete takes you on a tour of his local walking terrain to listen for and learn about migratory and year-round birds. What birds have you heard where you are this spring?