Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Horsetail Falls

via now that's nifty

Each year in mid to late February, as the sun is sinking low in the sky, the often overlooked, ephemeral Horsetail Falls, contained within Yosemite National Park, becomes a spectacular phenomenon.
On clear evenings, the tumbling water, backlit by the setting sun,
 glows golden and fiery like molten lava.

via Michael Frye

I heard a story on National Public Radio yesterday about this incredible occurrence.
It only happens for about one week during the month of February and only on nights where there is no cloud cover.  In the interview, Michael Frye, author of The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite, said that getting a good photograph of the lava falls is quite an endeavor.  He has to position himself in only one of three spots where the play of light on the water is visible, he sets up the camera with a telephoto lens on the tripod... and then he waits.  Sometimes the sun becomes obscured by clouds at the last minute, and the photo opportunity is lost.  Other times, there is cloud cover most of the day, and at the last second a beam of light shines like a beacon beneath the clouds.  Mr. Frye said getting a good photo is a challenge and an accomplishment.  But the real blessing, however, is in witnessing the falls as its glowing waters cascade down the east face of El Capitain.  

via Michael Frye
The way I see it, the peak moments in life are rarities.  They are not always predictable, nor are they sustainable.  Full presence of mind, an awareness of truly being in that moment is required.  These moments wash over us like a waterfall, splashing us from head to toe, and we are bathed in the beauty.

Until next time...


  1. What stunning photographs Anne ..... nature never fails us does it ? ....and, what a great photographer Michael Frye is . Those photographs just show what a dedicated photographer he is. XXXX

  2. I recently found out about Horsetail Falls myself and could hardly believe my eyes. Imagine seeing it person!


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