As we've done for several years, our group of photographers met the afternoon after Mother's Day, just outside Yosemite at our accommodations in El Portal. Over the years Yosemite has greeted us with both sunny weather and rain, and once even a flood. This time, Yosemite completely switched gears: it snowed.
The next morning, as we drove into Yosemite Valley, a thin blanket of snow covered much of the ground and the trees, and the surrounding cliffs and peaks were plastered with ice and snow. As the morning warmed, chunks of ice broke loose and tumbled downward, most of it thunderously breaking apart with the before reaching the valley floor. A fair amount of ice, though, transported in waterfalls and creeks, flowed into and down the Merced River. I've never seen so much ice before, and certainly didn't expect to see any on a date approaching mid-May.
In a few hours, most of the snow melted away, and a winter morning turned into a spring day. By late afternoon, we made our way to Tunnel View, expecting to see a beautiful display of rainbow-like colors at the base of Bridalveil Fall. To our amazement, a true rainbow spread across the width of the entire valley.
Over the next few days, we would also view and photograph expansive landscapes, historic buildings, and even some wildlife. And Yosemite's "waterworks" would provide us with a few more rainbows and some wonderful reflections in the river, in vernal pools, and even in a sidewalk puddle, making the trip, as usual, live up to its name.