Dogwood blossoms and reflections in the Merced River, from May 2012

Dogwood blossoms and reflections in the Merced River, from May 2012

The dogwoods are just starting to come out in Yosemite Valley. I was up there Tuesday, and saw that perhaps 30 percent of the dogwoods had new, green blossoms. A couple of trees even had fully white – though small – blossoms. Also, the cottonwoods are leafing out with those beautiful new bright-green leaves.

You want to catch the dogwoods early. The flowers last for several weeks, but they start to look ragged after awhile, and they don’t stand out as much after the trees leaf out. With the weather predicted to warm up this weekend I expect the dogwoods will progress rapidly, and many, perhaps even most, will be in full bloom a week from now. Next week or the following weekend might be the best time this year.

Also, there will be a full moon next Thursday, so let the lunar rainbow madness begin! You can visit Don Olson’s web site to see his predictions for when lunar rainbows will be visible from Cook’s Meadow and from the bridge below Lower Yosemite Fall. You can read my tips about photographing lunar rainbows here, and see what it’s like to spend a moonlit evening in Cook’s Meadow with 200 other photographers here.

Spring has arrived!

— Michael Frye

Related Posts: Tips for Photographing Lunar Rainbows; Lunar Rainbow Images, and the Upcoming Annular Eclipse

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBooks Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, and Exposure for Outdoor Photography. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.