Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Beautiful and Precious Day: Yosemite in Winter 2

It was a gloomy day Wednesday in the fog of the valley, and a beautiful sunny day in Yosemite Valley. I gathered a few more pictures from the day to add to yesterday's collection. I have lots of pictures from many trips to Yosemite, but I don't think I've ever been there when there was so much snow and ice. Above is Sentinel Dome, one of the slightly lesser known icons of the valley, a cliff that would be a more famous landmark if there weren't Yosemite Falls on the opposite side of the valley to distract everyone.
Half Dome is pretty much the most famous rock in Yosemite Valley. When one rounds the corner on the road from Crane Flat, El Capitan and Half Dome make a memorable debut (enhanced a bit here with the zoom lens). Ice has a hard time sticking to the face of El Cap and Half Dome, but the snow nicely coats the summit.
Hmm...I don't think anyone has ever thought to take a picture of Half Dome from this angle...from the middle of the parking lot at Curry Village. I've taken this picture about a hundred times, maybe more, but again rarely with so much snow. There is a single telephone wire that gets in the way of pictures in the parking lot. One has to shift around a bit to make sure it doesn't show up in the image.

The Cathedral Rocks take on a whole different aspect in the late afternoon shadows. Mist rises from the meadows as the temperature quickly drops.
Pools of melted snow reflect the high cliffs above...

Turtleback Dome is usually visible from the Crane Flat road, but it can sometimes be a little hard to see the glacial erratics scattered across the summit of the dome. Erratics are boulders left behind during the one of the early glacial episodes that filled Yosemite to the brim. The snow highlighted the boulders yesterday (below).
Ice was everywhere. We caught these icicles along Cascade Creek.

Our national parks are precious places.
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