Sunday October 28, 2012 day trip to Yosemite
Today is Wednesday, October 31. Happy Halloween!! Last Sunday I felt the need to enjoy our unseasonablely warm weather after viewing the progress of hurricane Sandy online. David had been to the East side a few times without me so I suggested we take a drive to see how the fall colors were developing in Yosemite. We took Lulu with us since she had only a few days until her scheduled operation to be spayed. She is now recovering from yesterdays operation and looking like she wants to know what bad thing she’s done to deserve the pain.
Last night my flat screen monitor died so I’m now back to using a clunky huge old fashioned monitor. I’ve lost half my desk space and haven’t calibrated this monitor so I have no idea how these photos are going to look. The dogwood are turning but there weren’t very many reds, there were lots of pale pinks and apricot colors. This spot we like is between the south gate and Glacier Point turn off.
Dave and the dogwoods.
Dave is below the car.
We then drove to the valley, parked at the swinging bridge and walked down the Merced River bed with Lulu. She had a blast running in the sand. These trees are by the bridge. I liked the contrast of the sand with foot prints and tracks against the trees and forest. The sand looked like it was mimicking the tree trunks.
Dave walking along the Merced with Lulu behind him.
We saw a bear on Highway 140 in the Merced River Canyon on our way home. He was walking along the old road heading for Yosemite. We pulled over to watch him and then he climbed up the mountain side to a trail and changed directions for down river. It was hard to get pictures of him since the light was down below the mountain tops and I was hand holding the camera. The last time we came down 140 we almost hit a fox. Watching the bear was a wonderful way to end our day trip.
A week and a half ago David and I drove up the Merced River canyon to Yosemite for the Yosemite Renaissance reception. We had seen a few poppies beginning to bloom so today we decided to go back to see how they were coming along. We stopped by Casto Oaks Fine Wine and Art in Mariposa to deliver new pastels and photographs. Claudia Welsh was at the gallery with Penny Otwell. Kris Casto came in a few minutes later. It’s always nice to see these energetic ladies. Claudia received our art then we continued to the Merced River canyon.
There was one nice area in full bloom but overall I’d guess it’ll be really good in a week. Most of the hillsides were green or looked like this with just a hint of color beginning. 1:20pm
This is the beginning of the blooming area. We stopped here and photographed a bit and then headed up the road to Hite’s Cove. 1:29pm
We didn’t see anything blooming up the river towards Hite’s Cove so we turned around to return to the above spot. At the stop light for the one way bridge at the slide area, this little critter was next to the car dashing out of his hole to grab grass then run back down it’s burrow. Critter sounds so much nicer than gopher. 2:08pm
Approaching the blooming area to which we returned. Taken from the moving car at 2:18pm.
I liked the view of the two hillsides meeting, the poppy covered crowns of the hills and the long shadows. 2:27pm
A closer view of the long shadows and poppies. The light was quickly disappearing with the dropping sun. 2:30pm
As you can see the hillside is almost covered in shadow by 3:23pm. I took this as a reference photograph then I made a quick 5×6 watercolor sketch of this while David walked up the road in search of photographs. I liked the pine trees glowing in the afternoon sun on the opposite side of the canyon.
The last little bit of sun on this hillside. 3:32pm
As we were photographing along the road our friend Nancy Robbins pulled over and parked. We followed each other down the canyon towards Mariposa. When we were near Midpines our friend Terry Robinson joined us. He was heading to the poppies but didn’t continue when he learned the light was done and that the poppies would be better in a week. We all went our separate ways after trying and failing to decide if we should find something else to photograph. We’ll all get together another time.
Nancy and David. 3:45pm
I liked the trees hanging onto the edge of the hillside with the poppies above. 3:50pm
It’s February, almost time for the poppies to begin blooming in the Merced River canyon along Highway 140. Two years ago the poppies were phenomenal…I think it was 2 years ago. This week I painted two new miniature pastel paintings, both 4 inch square. The first one is of a poppy covered canyon hillside, along the Merced River.
Beginning layers. I first lightly sketched the scene in red pastel pencil. I save scraps of photo paper when I make a mistake printing or don’t need an entire sheet of paper. These are handy for printing little photographs for guides when painting.
The finished painting, 4” x4”.
The second 4” x 4” painting. I did not print out a photograph to use for this painting. I simply looked at my photograph on the computer….full screen. This scene was of the last fading light casting warm tones on a hillside.
December 25, 2009
Last year we had a storm on December 25. Yosemite was a winter wonder land blanketed with snow. On December 26, ’08, I took this picture below El Capitan along the Merced River. The day never warmed above 23 degrees.