Sierra Foothills, Evening

Posted on 17 April 2012

Sierra Foothills, Evening - Subtle evening light gently colors the chaparral-covered hills of the Sierra Nevada foothills on a spring evening, California.

Subtle evening light gently colors the chaparral-covered hills of the Sierra Nevada foothills on a spring evening, California.

Sierra Foothills, Evening. Mariposa County, California. April 15, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Subtle evening light gently colors the chaparral-covered hills of the Sierra Nevada foothills on a spring evening, California.

I’m going to take a brief break from posting photographs from my early April week in Utah and post one or more recent photographs from here in California. This past weekend I found time (and the right weather, or so I thought) to make a very quick one-day run up to Yosemite and back. My main goal was to photograph wildflowers in the Merced River Canyon, where lots of interesting color starts to appear about this time each year. Although there was some real concern about how the wildflowers might develop this year, given the serious drought in much of California, some late-season rains and other factors seem to have jump-started some really interesting displays. In Merced Canyon there are lots of wonderful wildflowers and other things, but I was especially interested in California poppies (which, actually, are found throughout much of the state right now) and the blooming redbud plants.

My day didn’t go quite as planned. I was sort of hoping to run into a bunch of other photographs who were likely to be in the canyon as well, but a series of decisions on my part caused me to end up in different places than where they went. After shooting into mid-morning in the Merced Canyon I decided to make a quick trip into Yosemite Valley, but not too long after I arrived there some clouds began to roll in. Clouds can be wonderful in and around the Valley – and I actually managed to use them in some other photographs I’ll share later – but this was still not quite what I was originally looking for. Very late in the afternoon I did a bit of final shooting in and around the Valley, and then I decided to head back down into Merced Canyon before the light was completely gone. I made a few photographs of redbud and California poppies, but it seemed like my day for photography was coming to an end, so I packed up and started my long trek back to the Bay Area. Near the top of the steep climb out of Briceburg I started to notice some interesting light on the spring-green ridges to my right and behind me, and then I spotted a familiar-looking figure alongside the road with a tripod and camera. At this point I had to stop, to say “hi” to my friends if for no other reason! Then I saw this lovely and subtle light on the ridge – the cloud-muted light from the setting sun was washing the clouds with a gentle pink light, and its glow was adding warm colors to the green chaparral near the summit ridge… and a moment later this light was gone.

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 more.
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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.


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