Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yosemite's Fire Fall

Yosemite was and continues to be forged by fire and ice. First came the fire: magma, bubbling up from the interior of the earth, cooled to become granite, and rose to form the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Then came the ice, great rivers of ice – glaciers – flowed down out of the high country, to carve out incomparable Yosemite Valley.

At the end of each day, in the latter half of February, the drama of fire and ice is reenacted in a visual metaphor, when the low-angled light of the winter sun spins the frigid waters of Horsetail Fall into molten gold, which pours off the top of El Capitan. The show, usually attended by a few hundred photographers stationed at various points east of the waterfall, lasts for only a few minutes, and most days is cancelled by the typical cloudy winter weather.

Like the golden waterfall, I cycle my life through Yosemite each winter, too, with a camera rather than a bike. Two days ago, in the company of a few fellow photographers, I was privileged to view once again this beautiful natural phenomenon, which has the power to call up the wonder and the meaning of existence.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

What a beautiful picture Dave! I can't wait to be there in May.