Friday, June 19, 2015

Yosemite National Park In May - Part 2: Mariposa Grove & Bridalveil Creek

Sequoia Forest - Yosemite National Park, California
Part 1 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

After riding the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad and after our picnic lunch, we headed into Yosemite National Park. Our first planned stop was Mariposa Grove to see the Giant Sequoia trees.

Our five-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter and I went on a short hike through the trees. The kids were amazed at just how huge these trees are, much larger than anything they had ever seen before. Our one-year-old son had fallen asleep so my wife stayed in the car with him.

We didn't necessarily see a lot. We didn't see the tunnel tree. I'm not sure exactly which of the named trees we may have seen aside from The Fallen Monarch, which the kids found interesting. I didn't realize (until now) that the tree fell more than 300 years ago, but Giant Sequoia trees decay extraordinarily slow. After about 30 minutes we returned back to the car to continue our journey.
The Giant Tree - Yosemite National Park, California
Somewhere between the Wawona Hotel and Yosemite Valley along Highway 41 our one-year-old son awoke and needed some attention, so we pulled over at an unmarked wide spot. There was a beautiful  bloomed dogwood tree right there, immediately off the road.

While I was photographing the tree I noticed the sound of running water down in this small ravine. Looking around I found a small unmarked trail that lead down, so I traversed it to the bottom. The trail brought me to a small creek and a series of step waterfalls. It was a peaceful and rarely visited spot right off the highway. Yosemite is full of surprises!

Soon we were back on the road towards Yosemite Valley. After exiting the tunnel we could see that Bridalveil Falls was flowing. When we visited last autumn most of the waterfalls were dry, including Bridalveil.
The Green Marsh - Yosemite National Park, California
In the parking lot for the Bridalveil Falls trail we spotted a friendly deer who quite obviously was used to people. I think it expected to be fed because it came right up to us and even licked the hands of those who put their hands out towards the deer.

We spent a little time around Bridalveil Creek, exploring, climbing on the rocks, and hiking the trails (which we found to be stroller-friendly). It's a beautiful spot, although a bit crowded at times. After an hour or so we got back into the car and headed to Curry Village to check into our cabin.

Like in Part 1, the lighting was often harsh and contrasty. Midday is not typically the most ideal lighting for landscape photography. Once again, the equipment of choice was a Nikon D3300 DSLR with a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro lens attached to the front. This is a simple and light setup that works well for me. All of the post-proccessing was done using Alien Skin Exposure 7 software.

Part 3
California Blue Wood Tree - Yosemite National Park, California
Dogwood Bloom Monochrome - Yosemite National Park, California
Hidden Waterfalls - Yosemite National Park, California
Deer Lick - Yosemite National Park, California
Family On A Bridge - Yosemite National Park, California
Rock Girl - Yosemite National Park, California
Bridalveil Creek - Yosemite National Park, California
Rushing Bridalveil Creek - Yosemite National Park, California
Infrared Spire - Yosemite National Park, California

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