Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dogwoods and Domes: Wrapping a Week of Yosemite

I spent the week blogging about a day at Yosemite National Park, and as usual I've tried to concentrate on some of the sights that people might otherwise miss. Of course a place like Yosemite Valley is famous for some iconic features that everyone photographs and even though I've been there perhaps 70 times or more, I still cannot resist taking them too. So today includes a few of shots of the familiar.

First of course is Yosemite Falls, in full glory of spring. The falls were booming across the valley, and they were beautiful. They constitute one of the tallest waterfalls in the world (somewhere around 5th to 7th place by most measures) with a total drop of 2,425 feet. The falls are a fine example of a hanging valley, caused when the much larger Merced Glacier cut deeper than the smaller glacier of Yosemite Creek.

Yosemite Falls were once much less interesting. The tree-filled cleft to the left of the Upper Falls was the original channel of Yosemite Creek and there was a steep cascade rather than a sheer drop. Some glacial debris (a moraine) along the top of the cliff blocked the channel, forcing the river over the cliff at the present site.

The high approach to the valley from Big Oak Flat and Crane Flat includes some nice overlooks of the Merced River Valley and Bridalveil Fall along with the Cathedral Rocks and the Leaning Tower (the one sunlit cliff).

Half Dome is visible from many places in the valley, but one of my favorites is the middle of the Curry Village parking lot! The only difficulty is a lone telephone wire crossing the lot that keeps getting in the picture. The clouds were playing hide-and-seek with the summit of the dome.

One of the attractions of visiting Yosemite in the late spring is the blooming of the Dogwood Trees, and they were a pretty sight as we meandered along the valley floor. It's been a cool spring, so there's still time to catch some booming waterfalls and flowers if you get the chance!


Gaelyn said...

Oh Garry, I figured you were at Yosemite for at least a week. But you sure made the most of your day.

yosemite faith said...

this was at one time - the time of year where i would spend 2- 3 weeks in housekeeping camp - pretending to live in the valley. we did all our own cooking - never started the car unless going to glacier point or home. the is the best time and thanks for sharing it when i can no longer be there *sob* *sigh*

dbozarth said...

So beautiful....I never tire of seeing the amazing beauty of Yosemite in photographs or in person (needless to say)!