Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How A Pine Cone Saved My LIfe

When I traveled to Yosemite to climb Half Dome with my dad a week after school ended, the unthinkable happened, a pine cone saved my life.

I know what your thinking, "how did a pine cone save your life?" Well, when I was walking back to our camp site from washing my hands in the small creek located nearby, I kicked a pine cone and it hit a baby rattlesnake!  At first, I thought it was gopher snake (they look like the diamondback rattlesnake minus the black and white banding on its tail and has a narrower head), but once the pine cone hit the rattlesnake, it coiled up and started to furiously rattle its tail at me.  Luckily I was far enough from the venomous snake that it didn't lunge at me.  My friend McKenzie was walking with me and told me to walk slowly backwards away from the snake.  She is a rattlesnake expert because where she goes to school and lives, it is known as Rattlesnake Island due to all the rattlesnakes in the area and her school trains the students rattlesnake safety.  Instead of walking back slowly, I ended up running away as fast as I could.

So my dear friends, that is how a pine cone saved my life.

Here is a photo of a pine cone similar to the one that saved my life (photo taken by my dad)
Here is an image of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake close to the one I saw (image from wikipedia)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Dear Readers,

I got to see the solar eclipse today.  First I saw it through a welding mask.  I tried to take a photo of it, but it didn't turn out very well.  Then my mom taught me a trick on how to safely look at a solar eclipse without looking into the sun.  She said she learned this trick when she was in 4th grade.  It's call "pinhole projection".  Below are some photos of me demonstrating how to use a pinhole projection to view a solar eclipse.

You have two index card, the one in my left hand as a pinhole in it and the other one is plain. The pinhole index card is held far enough from the other card so that the sun can shine through the pinhole, creating a shadow of the solar eclipse (see photo below). Photo by my mom.

Can you see the solar eclipse shadow? Photo of my mom.

Here is another trick my mom showed me.  I created pinholes by simply overlapping my fingers in 90 degree angles.  If you look closely, you can see many solar eclipse shadows in my shadow. Photo by my mom.

Here is a photo of a solar eclipse courtesy of

Did you see the annular solar eclipse today?

Have you seen one in the past? 
If so, how did you see it?

Yosemite Valley

Dear Readers,

Last year in October, I went to Yosemite Valley to climb Half Dome, but we could not achieve it because we got dumped on by snow.  It was really hard to do, but we had a very big adventure.  We saw lots of little waterfalls and lots of big waterfalls such as Nevada Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite Falls and Vernal Falls. We saw many animals like the mule deer that can be found in my backyard and squirrels. Even a raccoon came into our tent. The raccoon came in the tent because it was pouring rain that night. When my dad, my friend, her dad, and I woke up we looked outside and there were puddles as large as ponds in front of our campsite.

After we settled into our campsite, my friend, Mckenzie and I got bored so we went bike riding around the whole area. It was really fun to ride through the huge puddles. It was like riding a horse through a lake. We once even had to take out the trash and tug it to the trash cans on our bikes.

While we were hiking up the trail head we saw the Merced River, but you could not swim in it because there is a strong current and at the end there is a waterfall. When we were up near the river we ate lunch. As we took off our back packs it felt like I was floating because the heaviness of it is flying away off our backs.

The day we got to the base of sub-dome was the first snowfall of the year, so we were not able to make it to the top because the granite was too slippery. It was really pretty and a bummer at the same time. It was so cold my toes felt like they were burning. The Merced River that ran along the campground was so beautiful because the trees looked like trees covered in sugar and the river to me seemed like a river of honey.

My dad and I at Vernal Falls. Photo by my friend's dad

My friend Mckenzie and her dad at Vernal Falls. Photo by my dad.

Me at Nevada Falls. It was so wet my dad made a poncho for me out of a garbage bag. Photo by my dad.

My friend and I eating our soup and trying to stay warm in our tent. Photo by my dad.

We woke up to the first snowfall of the season.  Photo by my dad.

My dad and I posing for a photo early in the morning. Photo by my friend's dad.

Top of Nevada Falls. Photo by my dad.

A view of Yosemite Falls from the valley floor. Photo by me.

A view of Yosemite Valley. You can't see Half Dome because it is covered by the clouds. Photo by my friend's dad.