Of Moonbows and Motion.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, 
where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike”.  …John Muir
May 19th finds us at Yosemite National Park chased by the full moon and an attempt to photograph moon-bows on Yosemite Falls. It’s cold, late, very wet, and crowded at the bridge at lower falls. Last night the moon rose around 10 p.m., tonight it will be much later. But wait! As it gets closer for the moon to rise, a layer of clouds decides to hide the full brightness leaving us with a less than an ideal opportunity. We retreat and decide to try another approach, an attempt from the valley floor. See the image above. Moon-bows on Yosemite Falls, D300 18-mm f3.5 for 15 seconds at 1600 ISO at 11:15 p.m.
Earlier, Kathy spots a bear at the eastern trail to lower Yosemite Fall. It takes me a full two minutes to see it as it blends with the surrounding foliage and my rhythms haven’t kicked in yet. Nice to see a bear doing the natural bear thing, digging for grubs and termites in rotting logs and not looking for Snickers in vehicles. We enjoy the bear for about 10 minutes before a couple from Israel show up. We point out the bear and they are excited! Another 10 minutes of Wild America and the shows over.
For the next couple of days I continue to work on my new series, WaterColor, check out the WaterColor gallery on my web site here. (Go to Galleries menu in the upper left corner and click on WaterColor). Here’s a couple of samples:
I take a break from my WaterColor series to find myself at Bridalveil Fall around 5 p.m.. The rainbow, or mist-bow, is incredibly bright! The challenge, lots of water spraying on the photographer and his camera. Solution; Zip Lock bag and lens chamois.
Overcast skies greet us on the last day for our hike to Vernal Fall. Overcast turns to rain and by the time we get to Vernal we are in a rainstorm. My spirits are lifted each time I see a person well into their twilight years hiking the steep trail to Vernal Fall, in the rain! If you’ve never done this hike, it is a climb, especially the last quarter mile which is straight up! And to see so many ‘older’ folks making the trek gives me hope, as I’m getting ‘older’ fast.
It clears on the way back to camp, we dry out, and look for more adventures. Snow closes Tioga Pass the day after it opened for the season and our hopes of staying a night at Mono Lake are squelched. All in all, a great time in one of our most spectacular National Parks.
for more images of Yosemite and other recent shoots, see ‘Recent Shoots’ at www.stamates.com

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