Yosemite, Natures Temple. In the midst of a whirlwind mini-vacation to a wedding in San Jose California and Southern California, we spent three incredible days in Yosemite. I have seen Yosemite Valley from the air several times flying from Portland to Los Angeles, but nothing prepared me for how incredibly beautiful and awe inspiring this spot really is.
Black And White Yosemite Mosaic – A tribute to Ansel Adams. It was impossible to go here and not think of his photography, since he had photographed all over Yosemite and I have a print of his iconic Half Dome.
Tunnel View – The approach to Yosemite from the tunnel. This is another of Ansel Adam’s iconic vistas. Mine, not such good photography, but the view was breathtaking, nonetheless. This is our first view of Yosemite Valley with a view of Half Dome in the background.
The view from the lookout point just beyond, gives us time to savor the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite. There is a view of both Half Dome and El Capitan with many other peaks of the valley.
An incredible view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point (an incredible lookout above the valley). This view is truly breathtaking.
These next four are the originals of the photos I used for the black and white mosaic.
Half Dome from closest point we could go by car.
Half Dome from Glacier Point.
El Capitan from below. My crazy son wanted to get on the lottery to climb this. I’m so glad he didn’t.
A view of Bridal Veil Falls from a spot the tour bus stopped. The wind whips the water at the top of the falls into a spray. This is August and many of the waterfalls were dry, including Yosemite Falls. Bridal Veil Falls was still flowing with this beautiful spray. We hiked in the next day, but the display wasn’t quite as nice.
Meadow beneath Half Dome. The many meadows in Yosemite are truly beautiful, as was this one.
Now for some of the Flora in Yosemite. Some of my identification is only my best guess or an ID of the variety but not the species.
One of several varieties of Manzanita that I saw. These are both beautiful and drought hardy. Some people are incorporating them into the landscape here in the Northwest.
The picture is a little blurry, but I loved these seed heads. I have no idea what the plant was, but I liked it. It looked a little like another Manzanita, but not quite. I think I may have found what this might be. In a book I purchased at Yosemite, I found a picture of a shrub called the Huckleberry Oak with leaves that look similar. Those seed heads just might be immature acorns.
I think this was some variety of Holly. It didn’t quite look like Oregon Grape, which has a similar look.
Probably the native Rhododendron or Azalea. I couldn’t tell which.
My guess is Thimbleberry or something related.
And my guess on this one is the Sierra Gooseberry or something related. See the berries hiding among the dusty leaves.
I believe that this is a young Black Oak.
Thistle in one of the meadows.
And now for a few of the Wildlife in Yosemite. No, we didn’t see any bears, but food has to be well stored in this valley. We saw a video of a bear hopping into a car’s open window to get food.
A beautiful Stellar’s Jay picking at crumbs near a park bench. I had lots of these when I lived in Washington. Here in Oregon, we have lighter blue Scrub Jays, which are also beautiful. I had never have gotten them by my house in Oregon until about an hour ago, I saw my first at our bird feeder while writing this post. I sure hope this is a sign of things to come.
One of the ever present Squirrels. These are really pretty with their flecked coats.They are a little different from the Grey Squirrels that I see at home.
We got quite a few pictures of this Doe and her Fawn (still with spots). This is the one that turned out best. You can see them at the end of this trail.
And Sunset In Yosemite. A perfect end to three perfect days.
Yosemite was truly an awe inspiring place. It was very hot (around 100), but wonderful. I am very proud of myself that I didn’t get dehydrated, since I am no longer used to that kind of heat. I would love to go back to do hiking in not so hot weather. We went to the Giant Sequoias too, but that is for another post.