A Monster Storm at Yosemite

Yose_4033Highway 140, West Entrance to Yosemite National Park, California

I went to Yosemite Wednesday, Feb. 6 after a monster winter storm dumped 2 feet of snow Tuesday alone in valley. The West Entrance reopened by noon on Wednesday after 2 days shut down. Snow chains were required to put on unless 4×4 wheels.

yose_4050-2A photographer at Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Yose_1081Yosemite Valley Chapel in Snow, Yosemite National Park, California

yose_4185-2El Capitan at Sunset, Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, CA

After cruising around the valley floor and taking beautiful winter landscape pictures, I ended up at Tunnel View which my favorite spot all time at sunset.  I didn’t expect to take this epic, a stripe of light hitting the rock after disappointing cloudy sunset few minutes earlier. I was about to leave the tunnel view, removed all gears and tripod set-up. But I was stunned by a band of orange which lighting up the side of mountain where my car faced.  I turned around to the right and looked straight at the El Capitan where a stripe of light just reached. I grabbed a camera and rushed to take a couple of shots handheld. The orange light lasted about 6 minutes till it disappear.

I was so lucky to get this awesome shot and have  learned a lesson again. Never leave early till 30 minutes after sun went down. I will long remember the epic moment.

The Split Second between Life and Death in Wildlife

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By every Thanksgiving, Vermilion Flycatchers migrate to warm Southern California, San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine, for the winter. One day, I was standing next to the tall tree which favorable to Vermilion Flycatchers. Suddenly, unfamiliar bird that I never seen it before, landed on that high perch. I shot more than 10 frames of image. One of photos revealed a split second of eating a Dragonfly by Merlin, which is a smallest falcon. I was stunned by the image that I never seen it before, and this is why the mysterious nature of wildlife kept me on field. By the way, Merlin is a small falcon which eats small song birds and shorebirds. Other prey includes large insects such as Dragonfly, bats, and small mammals.

Next two images show the before and after

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Merlin just landed with a Dragonfly.

 

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Merlin bites off the head, now it’s in her mouse.