Horsetail Fall at sunset, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Horsetail Fall just before sunset, Sunday evening, 5:28 p.m.

Yosemite got some showers on Saturday night, which helped to add a little water to Horsetail and create a decent flow – below average, but probably better than anything I’ve seen the last two years.

Sunday evening a workshop student and I joined the throngs of photographers near the El Capitan picnic area. Some thin clouds muted the the light a bit, and then thicker clouds cut the light off entirely just before it would have reached its peak intensity and color, and before the cliff behind the fall was in complete shade. But Horsetail still put on a good show, as you can see from the accompanying photo, made at 5:28 p.m.

Unfortunately the little boost in water level from Saturday’s showers probably won’t last long, and a hoped-for storm tonight and tomorrow now looks like it will bring only a slight chance of showers. I think Horsetail will keep flowing for at least the next week, but the flow will probably be pretty meager. Still, it doesn’t take much. With a clear sunset even a little bit of water can turn into a strip of neon orange. I’d guess the water flow will be similar to 2012; you can see what that looked like in this post from that year.

It now looks like the rest of February is likely to be dry. We really need a miracle March!

— Michael Frye

Related Posts: Another Clearing Storm, and a Horsetail Fall Forecast; Quick Horsetail Update

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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael 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.