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Darvin Atkeson / 52 items

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Fall colors are reflected in the Merced River as it runs through the Valley of Yosemite National Park. Hidden by the forest from many of the most photographed locations it runs though the heart of Yosemite Valley. Starting in the High Sierra it cascades down granite canyons in to a number of stunning waterfalls then reaching the deep flat valley slows and meanders though the Yosemite Valley floor. In Spring it remains a rushing torrent but in Fall it becomes a tranquil place to sit and ponder the wonders of paradise on Earth. Taken from one of my favorite spots atop a rock in the middle of the river which is only accessible when the river runs low and slowly. I often come to sit here and just take in the peacefulness of the reflections of the river and watch as colored leaves float down the river.


© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Yosemite National Park Merced River Fall Color Reflection Yosemite Valley California Sierra Nevada Mountains Autumn Leaves United States Vacation Travel Solitude Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Half Dome, one of Yosemite National Park's most well known features, rises high in to a velvet blue star filled sky both reflecting in the Merced river that runs slowly through the nearly flat Yosemite Valley Floor. Theses giant cliffs were carved clean by the force of massive ice glaciers that flowed through Yosemite Valley during the last ice age. When the glaciers receded Yosemite Lake was formed by massive boulders that were dropped by the glacier forming a dam at the far end of Yosemite Valley. Over tens of thousands of years the Yosemite Lake slowly filled in with silt forming grassy meadows, some of which remain today. Over several thousand more years, most of the meadows slowly filled in with a lush green forest of pines, aspen and oak trees forming today's Yosemite Valley floor. This small corner of the Merced river harkens back to the views that must have occurred nightly on the fresh clean glacier lake that formed after the last glacier slowly receded.

The glaciers and the large lake are now gone but this place is in a constant state of change. The powers of nature slowly wearing away the granite cliffs as the hard rock is slowly pealed back layer by layer by the forces of water and ice. A small lake known as Mirror Lake just under the face of Half Dome used to serve as a great reflecting pond has begun to fill in and turn to Mirror Meadow. During the wet season the pond returns for a short time. Fortunately this reflection will last a bit longer but even it will eventually change.


© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Half Dome Yosemite National Park Reflection Star Starry Star Filled Sky Velvet Blue Night Long Exposure Merced River California Sierra Nevada Mountains Camping Fishing Hiking Rock Climbing Cliff Forest Pines Yosemite Valley Village Glow Sunset North Dome Granite Glacier Ice Snow Park Darvin Darv Atkeson Lynneal LiquidMoonlight.com

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A cool brisk day in paradise California otherwise known as Yosemite California. I stopped by the bend in the river which is one of my personal favorite places to stop and shoot Yosemiteâs famous Half Dome reflecting in the near perfect mirror of the Merced River. Light horsetail clouds floated gently by and the air in the valley nearly perfectly still and calm. Yosemite Valley in the winter is a quite place great for reflection and inner searching or as in this case, just great for reflections of the incredible towering cliffs and domes above the Valley Floor. Yosemite is hugely popular and the most visited of all the National Parks but in the dead of winter thing slow down to a crawl and the park becomes a quiet winter wonderland. Trails are a bit muddy but the view spectacular and you have them to yourself. The hardest part is getting out in the cold but given how the East Coast has fared this week Yosemite Valley seems downright tropical. The park is nicely quiet and you could just sit by the Merced River as it winds through Yosemite Valley and just enjoy those special moments in life where you feel at one with nature and nature even seems for a moment to enjoy your company.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Yosemite National Park California United States Merced River January Lightplay Landscape Scenic Forest Clouds Sky Blue Reflection Mirrored Print North Dome Winter Beautiful Stunning Classic Sierra Sierra Nevada Mountains Darv Darvin Lynneal Dawn Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Almost as if creating its own Christmas card, the Merced river runs slowly through boulders capped with a layer so snow on icy water below the golden monolith of El Capitan. A few breaks in the ice make for a mirror like reflection of the towering sunlit cliffs of granite. The meadow across the river lies quietly under a blanket of freshly fallen snow not yet touched by sunlight. This is a popular vista in Yosemite is a must stop on most any trip through Yosemite Valley. The extreme clear skies of winter enhanced the coolness of the image and it was indeed as cold as it looks. The icy effect adds to the beauty of the of this always stunning location.

A cold arctic storm blew down over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and with it brought an instant layer of snow. I’ve lived up here on and off and this is the first time I can recall that it actually started snowing without first raining. Usually the snow comes in after a good rain storm in this part of California. The snow was light and fluffy made up of tiny snowflakes all the way through making a find powder that blew across the roads and fell from the trees much the way it had landed. It was a good reminder that the granite monoliths you see in the image were carved by ice as it flowed down the valley and is responsible for the towering cliffs that rise nearly 3000 feet or more.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Yosemite Valley View Valley National Park Merced El Capitan Bridal Veil Sierra Nevada Mountains Forest Winter Snow Snowfall Snowscape Landscape Reflection Frozen Rocky River Icy Sunlight Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Merry Christmas from Yosemite.

Half Dome rises in the distance above a frozen Merced river creating blue and gold highlighted frost that flows gently down the river. Evergreens stand tall in the distance as the other trees are laid bare for the onslaught of a cold winter. North Dome to the far left peaks though the barren trees and glows yellow with direct sunlight. Temperatures were quite low even for Yosemite and light fluffy dry snow was everywhere. Up close you could see the sparkles of thousands of snowflakes like glitter across the ground. Occasionally the sound of thunder clapped behind us but this was no thunder storm. Yosemite Falls was dropping massive sheets and ice as it melted in the afternoon sun. Even more rare was the sound of large boulders bouncing off the steep cliffs as the water worked its under the rocks and began to freeze. I saw several the size of a house sheer off El Capitan.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight.com

Tags:   Yosemite Half Dome National Park North Dome Merced Snow Frozen Ice River Yosemite Valley Village Forest Landscape Snowscape Darv Darvin Lynneal LiquidMoonlight.com


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