Half Dome Makes a Surprise Appearance on the Floor of the Great Valley Today
It doesn't happen for me all that often, maybe because of air pollution, or the fact that I characteristically drive past the spot only once a week, but I can occasionally spot Half Dome in Yosemite Valley from the floor of the Great Valley (some people call it the Central Valley, but we know better). There's a narrow line of sight that passes through Denair and Turlock where the iconic dome can sometimes be spotted. One has to know where to look, and binoculars or a strong zoom are very helpful, but I always see it first with the naked eye.
It was a surprise today because we are right in the middle of the third major atmospheric river storm in a month's time, and the sky was overcast and raining for most of the day. There was a short break in the storm during the late afternoon, so I caught a few pictures on my way to teach my night class in Turlock. I had to play with the contrast a lot to bring out the image.
It was easier to see today because clouds obscured the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada crest that rise behind the dome. In the picture below, one can compare the appearance of the dome on less cloudy days (this shot is from February of last year).