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Granite, Meadow, and Trees - Fletcher Lake

Granite, Meadow, and Trees - Fletcher Lake. Yosemite National Park, California. September 10, 2009. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Autumn colors and morning light on glaciated granite, late-season meadow grasses, and trees near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, Fletcher Lake, Yosemite National Park, California.




Technically this was shot near the end of summer, not in early autumn... but in the high country the observable change of seasons comes before the autumnal equinox, so it often really feels much more like autumn that summer by the second week of September. Many streams a low or dry, virtually all of the grasses have gone dormant and taken on the brown/gold color, the high country animals are clearly engaged in preparation for winter, and the number of human visitors greatly diminishes. (And at Fletcher Lake, employees are starting to dismantle the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp for the season.)


Fletcher Lake is a very familiar location for me. I go there at least once every year, sometimes more, and I almost always visit near the very end of the season. Because I know the area and its surroundings so well by now, I think that I see it in a very different way than I used to. I still notice the most striking features - the tremendous view toward Mount Conness, the impressive, fractured face of Fletcher Peak (the base of which is in the background of this photograph), the height of Vogelsang Peak. But more and more I look for the effect of warm late-season light on granite, meadow, and trees.


This photograph was made in the early morning. The very first light is blocked by a ridge to the east and by Fletcher Peak, but soon the light begins to come around the shoulder of Fletcher and light up the meadow grasses and trees, yet it leaves the face of Fletcher Peak in shadow.


This photograph is not in the public domain. It may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media without explicit advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


Web: G Dan Mitchell Photography




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Taken on September 10, 2009