Seepage Stains, Cathedral Range Granite. Yosemite National Park, California. September 11, 2015. © Copyright 2015 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Water seepage stains the surface of a Cathedral Range granite face, Yosemite National Park
During our week camped at a Yosemite back-country lake in September we had plenty of time to become intimately aware of the surrounding landscape, to explore its features, and to return to some of them more than once. One photographer who wasn’t with us this time but who has been a fixture on these trips in the past (Hi, Mike!) and shared some general information about a particular feature that intrigued him — and as a result the rest of us also became intrigued by it. The description of the location was a bit vague, but not so vague that a person who knows the area well would be unable to find it. (Think of directions like, “Near some granite to the south of a lake and west of another lake.”) So, once on the scene, this area was one that caught our focus.
Up from where we were camped, through some trees, and near the base of an incline, there is an odd section of cliff. In the sort of spot where you might expect everything to have been ground away by ancient glaciers there is a section of cliff that is hundreds of feet long and perhaps no ore than thirty feet high. A basin lies above it, and it seems that water finds many places to seem over and through these rocks, staining them in all sorts of diverse and amazing ways. This photograph is one of several close up studies I did of small sections of this face, where solid, blocky granite is cut through by cracks and water stains are everywhere.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist. His book, “California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” is available from Heyday Books and Amazon.
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