Lupine, Sierra Nevada. Yosemite National Park, California. May 4, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A thick patch of spring lupine flowers high in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range, California.
We had time for only a one-day trip to Yosemite, timed to coincide with the peak of the dogwood bloom season in the Valley. We left very early – way before dawn – with a plan of arriving in the Valley not too long after the sun came up. (This time of year, arriving by dawn in the Valley would require a 2:00 a.m. start time – and, in some ways, the Valley itself isn’t so much a dawn photography subject.) After we entered the park on highway 120 I started looking for some dogwood trees that often blossom a bit later – since the light was good here it would make more sense to stop and shoot that to keep driving to arrive further on when the light wasn’t as good.
We saw a couple of trees thick with flowers, and quickly turned around to drive back to them. We spent some time photographing these trees and then moved on. (Unlike in a typical year, there was no snow at the junction with the still-closed Tioga Pass Road, and areas that would usually be full of run-off water seemed largely dry.) The area, burned twice in recent years, along the road as it descends toward the Valley is often a good place to find wildflowers. I wasn’t expecting too much in this drought year, and for the most part I was right – but at a turn-off we suddenly came upon a very large patch of beautiful lupines and stopped to photograph. I’m crazy about shooting into the light, so I got down low and photographed these flowers with the light coming from almost directly behind.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist 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.