Wednesday, February 17

Yosemite Snow, Full Moon and Fiery Horsetail Falls

I am heading to Yosemite on Thursday. Well, on Thursday, I’ll overnight in Fresno or maybe Oakhurst so I can drive into Yosemite Valley on Friday morning fresh and alert. I’ll have two nights in a heated tent cabin in Camp Curry (sadly soon to bear some forgettable name). For Sunday night and any after that, I’ll move to the Upper Pines campground. 
I've been talking about late February in Yosemite for about two years now.  I went last year and got these photos, but there was no snow and little water. Horsetail Falls, the focal point for this outing, was barely a trickle so there was no fiery-falls-at-sunset shot.  This year conditions seem to be ripe.  Michael Frye tells us that now it just depends on the atmosphere - we need clear skies on the western horizon to allow the setting sun to work its magic. The forecast is promising.

Last year we had this sliver of a moon.  This year the full moon occurs on Monday morning, so shooting the moon on Friday and Saturday could offer an alternative to Hosrsetail Falls if the crowds are too much.
I hope to visit this site off the Northside Drive, too. I hope I can find it again! I can do a better job with the composition and it should look completely different in the snow.  It makes me think of Ray McSavaney and his Walking Trees in winter and again in spring


Frankly, I hope I get some great shots early so I can consider whether to linger in the tent or drive home early. A little true winter can go a long way with me. Sometimes I feel like the camping part will be a piece of cake because I am well-prepared (thanks to Steve Anderson and the Meanderthals for the chilly San Gabriel walks and thanks to Vaughn and Allan for the winter camps in Mojave National Preserve), but then I think of the wee-hours bathroom run. Brrrr! I have to remember the reward paid in Yosemite stars!

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