Upper Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls

LAST WEEKEND I went with my friend, Bill, to Yosemite National Park. The awesome beauty and grandeur of this natural wonder in the Sierras is so astounding that it almost hurts. It wasn’t the first visit for either of us, but like everyone else who has traveled here more than once knows, each visit produces its own astonishment.

I love to take photographs here, as is true of nearly all visitors since Ansel Adams and this weekend in early March was especially generous to those of us who made the trek into the wilderness.

Standing awe-struck at the edge of Mirror Lake I heard the sounds of three more photographers beginning to set up behind us. They hoisted tripods with heavy cameras and long lens, along with bulging bags of more equipment on their shoulders as they hiked up the trail to this scenic point.

Rock in Mirror Lake

Rock in Mirror Lake

I had just snapped a few shots of my own with my Canon A80, a 5 year old digital point and shoot, so it was with great humility that I spoke with a straight face to these determined outdoors men.

“Hey guys, don’t worry. I already got a great picture of that rock.”

I waited a moment for a laugh, or a smile even. Alas, my dry humor, lost apparently, in the serious undertaking that is photography at Yosemite.

Later, on Sunday afternoon as we reluctantly headed home we drove around a corner and saw a small crowd at the pull out, the last scenic view of the valley before the exit. Of course we jumped out too, and soon realized the photographer’s dream that we had stumbled upon.

I lamented only for a moment the fact that I was ill-equipped for the scene. The full moon rising, perfectly aligned over the Bridalveil Fall, was a glorious accent to the sun’s last stoke of light, glowing on the wall of granite above us. As I steadied my so-called camera the best I could, I took my picture and felt again the ache of ephemeral beauty.

Full Moon over Bridalveil Falls

Full Moon over the 620 foot Bridalveil Fall

Follow this link for more “great pictures” of Yosemite on my Flickr page.