Dana Fork Meadow, Cathedral Range. Yosemite National Park, California. September 13, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.
Golden late-summer evening light on a small meadow along the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River, with the Cathedral Range in the distance.
Yet more golden pre-autumnal light in the Yosemite Sierra! The scene is one of the many areas of subalpine meadow bordered (and sometimes being invaded by) forest trees found throughout the higher regions of Yosemite National Park. This particular bit of hilly and meadowy terrain was easier to access at the end of this dry season as the stream I crossed to get to this spot was very low. I shot during the last hour of the day as the sun angle became quite low, casting foreground shadows and softening details of more distant features in the seasonal haze.
The distant ridge is the Cathedral Range, with the iconic form of Cathedral Peak silhouetted at the far right. This was the kind of day that most often comes to mind when I think of early fall in the high Sierra - though the actual start of autumn was about a week away when I made the photograph. The weather was relatively warm for this elevation, and it had been mostly sunny all day. The early evening was softened by the haze and the golden hour light accentuated the golden brown colors of the meadow grasses and plants. Something about this time of year seems quieter and more peaceful than the main summer season - I'm not sure if it is the passing of the explosive summer growth period, the slowing of creeks, something in the wind or the light, or simply the knowledge that summer is ending.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific
coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra
Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.