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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 149 > Welcome to nature

Welcome to nature

Photographer Leanne Bracey is entranced by Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, famed for its giant, ancient sequoia trees and jaw-dropping Tunnel View

Well Travelled

PHOTOGRAPHS: LEANNE BRACEY

Winter has arrived in Yosemite National Park. We’re near the top of Columbia Rock, around 7,000ft from the valley floor. We climb the steep incline with Scott Gediman at the helm, the park’s long-standing public affairs officer. He takes our minds off the tiring hike by reciting stories from when Barack Obama visited in 2016. The sky has been ‘painted’ with a light winter’s blue; the sun streams through the valley floor, a blanket of pine trees dusted with a sprinkling of fresh snow below. We can see Yosemite Falls, North Dome, Half Dome and El Capitan; just a fraction of the 704,624 acres of designated wilderness in Yosemite. This is nature at its best – nothing is more humbling than standing among such huge granite giants.

We touched down in Oakland, spending the first night in San Francisco. After the chaos of the city, we head to Mariposa County, home of Yosemite – the nature reserve that Theodore Roosevelt created the National Park Service to protect.

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About Psychologies

This month we’re exploring how to truly have a happy Christmas. If you don’t have any religious beliefs, the holidays can be rather become a meaningless glut of overconsumption and commercialism, but this issue will help you explore how to create a different experience for you, your friends and family this year. And often it’s about kindness. Our interview with June Sapong explores how we can use kindness in our everyday lives to make the world a better place. One of our own relays her experience of finding the bravery and courage to start dating again. When a relationship goes sour, it’s normal to lick your wounds for a bit but how do we begin to heal and have the courage to be vulnerable and get back out there again? Ellen Tout takes us on that journey. Natalie Hourihan explores ‘creativism’ with author and entrepreneur Orna Ross and shows us how to connect with our ‘creative intelligence’ so we can design a life that works for us on our terms. The good news we all have access to this intelligence, we just need to know how to harness it!