Destination – Yosemite.
Last month I had the opportunity to explore and photograph Yosemite Valley.
149 years ago, President Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, establishing the 1200 square mile Yosemite National Park located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California.
Winding through the mountains from the south entrance of Yosemite you approach the Wawona Tunnel and waiting on the other end is a magnificent panoramic view of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls towering high over the valley floor.
One of my favorite locations was wondering in the great meadows of the valley surrounded by Alpine forest, listening to sounds of the Acorn Woodpeckers and Stellar Jays in the Valley meadows background. At about 4000 feet, walking through the meadows is easy and the scenery, breathtaking.
The landscape is dotted with Sugar Pines (the largest pine) that can grow as tall as 200 feet and have a trunk diameter of over 5 feet. As I approached several of these giants, I noticed a mule deer grazing nearby and was astonished at how small the deer was in caparison to the mammoth pines.
But Yosemite is much more than a valley, next week I’ll share photos of the Mariposa Grove with its giant sequoias and close encounters with some special wildlife.