Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spring Day in Yosemite: Yosemite Falls defies gravity, and gratuitous squirrel/flower pictures

It's spring, and I was with my earth science students on a required class field trip. To assure that they resented me for dragging them outdoors, and out of cellular range, I took them to the most tortuously boring place I could think of: Yosemite Valley. It was what can pretty much be described as a perfect spring day: some puffy clouds to bring definition to the sky, and with some powerful wind flurries along the upper canyon walls that caused falling water to spray in all directions.
Despite many visits to Yosemite over the years, I am always seeing something new. It's part of what I love about the place. Today's post concentrates on several views of Upper Yosemite Falls. Look for a few more scenes of other parts of the valley later on. It was a glorious day.
Yosemite Falls drops 2,425 feet in three steps, making it something like the seventh highest waterfall in the world. The upper fall is 1,430 feet high, which actually makes it only the second highest fall in Yosemite Valley (more in a later post!). The wind was strong enough that very little water was actually hitting the cliff; it was blowing outwards, leaving dark shadows in the space between water and rock.
I zoomed in on the spray...Mrs. Geotripper insisted that Gandalf must have been up on top of the falls, unleashing white horses to wash away the nine Nazgul riders in Rivendell.
Dogwoods were blooming all over the valley. I was captivated by the sunlight glowing through the leaves.
And as promised, a gratuitous squirrel. They were out and about all over the valley, but most avoided me. When this little guy insisted on eating lunch only eight or nine feet away and ignoring me, I couldn't help but take about 35 pictures. Of a squirrel...
Next: some unheralded waterfalls of Yosemite Valley.
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