Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yosemite Falls Video

Yosemite Falls, May 2016 from Mike Mundy on Vimeo.

Before heading on home, I drove up to the Yosemite Lodge parking lot and walked to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall. First up, a pileated woodpecker! Then, some experimenting with iPhone video movements.

The clips were taken between 7:30-8:00 AM. Interesting: I had the path to myself the whole time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Glacier Point

Glacier Point Visitors - Yosemite  2016

Fritos and Beer - Yosemite  2016

When I got back to the Sentinel Dome trailhead parking lot, around 10:30 AM, all spaces had been taken and cars were parking on the side of the road. I drove on up to Glacier Point and found that the lower parking lot was full but with still plenty of spaces in the upper lot.

I walked down one of the trails leading away from the point, scrambled up a hillside towards a convenient log, pulled my Kindle out of my pack and had my Fritos and beer lunch.

When I returned to the parking area, both lots were full up, and there was a line of traffic snaking back up the road for a mile. I was a little disconcerted, trying to picture being stuck in traffic for an indefinite amount of time inside a national park. (UPDATE: See this 2017 Modesto Bee opinion piece.) Early rising is a must; alternatively, plan a winter visit, as I did for Zion earlier this year.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Pileated Woodpecker Blogging

Woodpecker #1 - Yosemite  2016

I was slowly walking towards the base of Lower Yosemite Fall in very dim early morning light, fooling around with iPhone videos, when this very large woodpecker made her appearance.

"The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest."

Whoa! Put the iPhone away, get out the Olympus with the 14-150mm lens. I had first spotted her off in the woods, but when I went to take the photo she had unaccountably vanished. But then I heard a rustle on the forest floor nearby and there she was, right at my feet. 

Photo taken at ISO 8000, focal length 80mm (160mm equiv.).

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sentinel Dome Views

Yosemite Falls - Yosemite  2016

Sierra Crest from Sentinel Dome - Yosemite  2016

The regular trail to the top was partially blocked by snow, so there was a bit of a scramble over the granite slabs. But once up there, the views were quite nice, no smog as there's sometimes been in the past.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Jeffrey Pine - Sentinel Dome

Jeffrey Pine, Sentinel Dome - Yosemite  2016

Adams' Jeffrey Pine - Yosemite  2016

Alas, the iconic pine tree pictured in Adams' famous 1940 photo died in the 1970s and finally collapsed in 2003.

Sections of the trunk still remain, however, very gnarly and dramatic.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sentinel Dome Hike

Sentinel Dome - Yosemite  2016

Tree Trunk - Yosemite  2016

I arrived at the Sentinel Dome parking lot fairly early - around 7:30 AM - parked the car and started the hike.

I was carrying two cameras: an Olympus E-M10 with a 14-150mm lens (used for top photo) and an Olympus E-PL5 with a 25mm lens (used for bottom one.)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Half Dome

Half Dome - Yosemite  2016

Half Dome, Manzanita - Yosemite  2016

If you go to Yosemite you are certainly going to take photos of Half Dome. It's the law!

Top photo taken from Tunnel View with an Olympus telephoto zoom lens. Bottom photo is an iPhone panorama shot from Glacier Point. Note Nevada Fall on the right.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bridelveil Fall - 2

Bridelveil Fall - Yosemite  2016

Bridelveil Creek - Yosemite  2016

I parked at the Bridelveil Fall parking lot and walked the short distance to the base of the fall, or as close as I cared to get: there was quite a bit of water in the air.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bridalveil Fall - 1

Bridelveil Fall - Yosemite  2016

I had left my campsite and was on my way to the Sentinel Dome trail when I decided to stop for some photos of the Bridelveil Fall area.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Kitten Blogging

Kitten - El Portal  1990

The story behind this photo has been lost in the mists of time.

Bonus photo below, the telephone booth located in the Yosemite employees' mobile home area.

Telephone Booth - El Portal  1990

Sunday, August 21, 2016

. . . from the archives #95: Trees - Yosemite 1997

Trees - Yosemite 1997

I've always liked this photo, even though I never got around to framing it. I guess that I wish that there was a little more depth of field . . .

Taken near the parking lot for Bridalveil Fall with, I'd guess, a Toyo-Field 4x5 camera. I've tried to recreate the photo using digital cameras, but no luck so far.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cascade Fall

Cascade Fall - Yosemite  2016

. . . in May, very impressive. Driving up from El Portal it's on the left, some miles past the park entrance

"Cascade Fall" appears to be an unofficial name. Hm.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Merced River, Afternoon

Merced River, Clouds, Mountains - El Portal  2016

Walking up the road from my campsite in El Portal, 5:30 PM.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

El Portal Flowers

Vetch - El Portal  2016

Lupin - El Portal  2016

Vetch down by the river, lupin just off the road.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sierra Foothills - 2

Mailbox - Mariposa County  2016

Oasis - Mariposa County  2016

Taken during the drive back from Hornitos to my campground.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hornitos Cemetery

Tombstones (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  2016

Tombstones (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  2016

I spent some time wandering around the old tombstones in back of the church. The heat was starting to rise in the sun-baked landscape; walking around the hard-packed earth I was just a little worried about rattlesnakes.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Ladybug Blogging

Ladybugs - El Portal  2016

Ladybugs Flying - El Portal  2016

I looked up from my Kindle to observe bright red blobs whizzing past the campground. Whoa . . . a ladybug swarm! Difficult to photograph flying beetles, but I was able to spot a few of them as they alighted on a nearby plant.

BTW, "Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not from the order called "true bugs" in the profession."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hornitos Church - 1990 & 2016

Shawna, Celica (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  1990

Toyota RAV (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  2016

St. Catherine's Catholic Church, built in 1862.

Shawna and I were on our way to El Portal in 1990 to visit my brother and sister-in-law.

Clear skies last May, unlike the nice clouds in my 1995 photo.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dead Trees

Dead Trees - Yosemite  2016
Dead Trees - Yosemite  2016

Very disturbing. Vast swaths of dead trees throughout the mountains, victims of bark beetles, the drought and, of course, climate change. This is a highly visible change from only last year! And it's only going to get worse.

26 million trees have died so far, according to the L.A. Times.

And from an August 6 SF Chronicle article:

“I was told by a lot of people that it wouldn’t ever spread as far,” said Asner, as he mapped the die-off on his onboard computer with crewmate Joseph Heckler. “But look what we’re flying over. Most of this was all fine last year.”

As the aircraft pushed to the southern Sierra, not far from Fresno, clover-green hillsides gave way to sprawling patches of yellow, orange and cinnamon. High-elevation lakes, like Shaver Lake in Fresno County and Bass Lake in Madera County, were almost completely surrounded by dead trees. Wooded canyons in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks appeared rust-colored. Mountains east of Bakersfield were bronze.

The article concludes:

Ultimately, the magnitude of tree mortality may signal a wholesale transformation of the forest. Some scientists speculate that woodlands, in many areas, will disappear and give way to brush and grasses that are more tolerant of hotter, dryer weather.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hornitos Sightems

Roy's Cafe (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  2016

Hornitos Was A Rich Town (Hornitos) - Mariposa County  2016

"The population was 75 at the 2010 census. . . . Hornitos is registered as California Historical Landmark #333."

Roy's Cafe: "My grandmother owns this property. This was her deceased husbands café. People came from all over because of the quality of steaks and the price from what I've been told."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sierra Foothills - 1

Oak - Mariposa County  2016

Digger Pines - Mariposa County  2016

The way to Hornitos winds through dry Sierra foothills: landscape with oaks and digger pines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Side Trip to Hornitos

Hornitos Road - Mariposa County  2016

I wanted to visit Hornitos last year, but had to cancel due to the weather. Blue skies this year, so I headed out in the morning for breakfast and coffee in Mariposa, then took some side roads to Hornitos.

Pony Expresso - Mariposa County  2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls - Yosemite  2016

Upper Yosemite Fall - Yosemite  2016

Top image: a 2-photo merge, with some annoying autos removed from the background.

Bottom image: Lower Yosemite Fall reflected in the Merced River, photo flipped vertically.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Raven Blogging

Raven - Yosemite  2016

Large bird, wandering around the picnic ground looking for a handout.

Other raven photos can be found here.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tenaya Creek

Tenaya Creek #1 - Yosemite  2016

Tenaya Creek #2 - Yosemite  2016

Blurred water, taken with a handheld camera. No tripod, like I used back in 1991.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Waterfall, Dogwood

Dogwood Branch, Merced River - Yosemite  2016

Waterfall - Yosemite  2016

Driving through Yosemite Valley, early A.M.

So I don't actually know which waterfall this is. Either Ribbon or Horsetail. I think.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Buckeyes #2

Buckeye Blossoms, Sunset - El Portal  2016

Buckeye Blossom - El Portal  2016

Upper photo taken with an Olympus E-PL5, 25mm lens.

Bottom: Olympus E-M10, 14-150mm zoom lens.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Buckeyes #1

Buckeye Blossoms - El Portal  2016

Buckeye Blossoms Against Sky - El Portal  2016

As I said, lots of California Buckeyes in and around my El Portal campsite this year.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

El Portal Camp

Tent, Toyota - El Portal  2016

I returned last May to my standard El Portal campsite. Lots of California Buckeyes in bloom, and the nearby Merced River was in full flow.

No rain this year, alas. BTW, once again amazement at how small the bear box is. Yes, I've complained about this before.

Bear Box - El Portal  2016