Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Keeps Progressing

The poppies are mostly gone from the Merced River Canyon, but other flowers have replaced them—although in smaller quantities. Lupine, owl's clover, and gilia have formed small carpets throughout the canyon, and the redbud are near their peak. I made this photograph of lupine, owl's clover, and poppies near El Portal on Saturday.

In Yosemite Valley it's still too early for dogwoods. They usually start blooming near the end of the month. Late April is also when the deciduous trees start leafing out. Cottonwoods, alders, and maples turn bright green, while black oak leaves often appear red or orange when they first appear.

The last few days have been warm, but rain is predicted for tomorrow, with snow possible down to 5000 feet on Wednesday. Another weather system is supposed to arrive Friday. This cooler, wetter weather will temporarily reduce the flow in the waterfalls, but help preserve the snowpack for May and June. It's too early to tell how this weather might affect the timing of the dogwoods—for now I still expect them to arrive at their usual time in late April. Of course any rain or snow provides opportunities for clearing storm photographs.


  1. Thanks. I really love to read your blogs. It is unfortunate that your book (The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite) has already been sold out everywhere.

    - Yun

  2. I really like your site as well and appreciate the weather updates on the park. I am going to Yosemite for the first time at the end of May (after Memorial Day) and I thought I had found the perfect book - your Photographer's Guide to Yosemite, but I can't find it anywhere for it's listed price.

    Can you tell me if you know whether it or a new version will be available before the end of May?


  3. Thanks for the comments Yun and Patrick. The latest word I have from the publisher, Yosemite Association, is that the Photographer's Guide to Yosemite will be available again in late May. I'm hoping it might be sooner, but we'll see.

  4. Wow. Amazing combination of colors here. This year looks like it was something special.

  5. Thanks Richard! Yes, it was a great flower year in the Merced River Canyon. One theory I've heard is that ash from last summer's Telegraph Fire helped fertilize the flowers. I don't know if that's true, but it was a good year.

  6. Michael your new spring photos are glorious!! Thank you for contributing the gorgeous Red Bud and Oaks image to Sierra Foothill Conservancy's Spring Celebration- I wish I would have been the lucky winner...
    Bridget Fithian

  7. Thanks Bridget! I was happy to help such a great organization.


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