Category

Sierra Nevada

Aspens in Fall Beside a Creek

Sierra Nevada

One image that just screams “eastern Sierra fall color” that I wanted to make when I last visited Bishop was one of turning aspen trees alongside running water. The three basins in the mountains above Bishop drain into the three three forks of Bishop Creek, and with aspen trees surrounding much of these forks I knew it was just a matter of looking to find a location that would yield a pleasing composition. I noted a few spots along the outlet of Lake Sabrina along with a couple possibilities along the outlet of North Lake but late in the afternoon when I surveyed the upper reaches of the south fork of Bishop Creek below South Lake I found what I was looking for: walls of color alongside a stream with enough water movement to form interesting blurs. This image was taken very near Parcher’s Resort.

Aspens turn yellow in autumn, changing color alongside the south fork of Bishop Creek at sunset, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspens turn yellow in autumn, changing color alongside the south fork of Bishop Creek at sunset.
Image ID: 23323
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

The day I was in Bishop there were no clouds in the sky at all so contrast was a problem. I was finally able to find a composition with sufficiently low contrast after the sun had descended behind the peaks above South Lake. After that time the light passing through the trees and off the water was even enough to make good exposures without resorting to filters or any of that HDR / blended-exposure silliness. I simply set the aperature at its sharpest for this lens (f/11 on a 24-70 f/2.8 lens) and lengthened the exposure time until I nearly clipped the highlights in the stream. (Curious? See my post about Exposing to the Right and how to properly configure the camera to yield accurate histograms for this approach.) Correcting the white-balance, to account for the cool bias of the shady light, was about all I had to do in the RAW conversion.

Keywords: aspen, stream, creek, fall, eastern sierra, quaking aspen, populus tremuloides, autumn.

The Aspen Tunnel

Sierra Nevada

Along the road that runs beside North Lake in the Bishop Creek watershed is a section I have heard referred to as the “Aspen Tunnel“, an apropos name certainly. Tall quaking aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) on either side lean over the road, creating a impressive cylinder of color. If you are looking for a spot where you can point your camera up and shoot that classic “aspen trees reaching for the sky” shot (here’s another example), this is absolutely the easiest place I have found to do it. I first saw this spot in early October 2006 at which time the color in the leaves was rich and bright. I was there again most recently in late September 2009 when the trees on one side of the road were green while those on the other side were gold. This dichotomy of color is not all that curious: trees in a stand of aspens are typically clones of one another by virtue of their root system and reproduction mechanism; they tend to change color in unison.

Aspen trees displaying fall colors rise above a High Sierra road near North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees displaying fall colors rise above a High Sierra road near North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon.
Image ID: 17501
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

A tunnel of aspen trees, on a road alongside North Lake.  The aspens on the left are still green, while those on the right are changing to their fall colors of yellow and orange.  Why the difference?, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

A tunnel of aspen trees, on a road alongside North Lake. The aspens on the left are still green, while those on the right are changing to their fall colors of yellow and orange. Why the difference?
Image ID: 23342
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

The aspen tunnel spot is best photographed when the sun has risen fairly high in the sky. Go ahead and shoot the sunrise at North Lake from the usual spot. Then go for a walk around the lake (it’s a short and flat walk!) and kill some time wandering through the grove on the northwest side of the lake as you do so. When other photographers have departed (“the light is too harsh”, “I don’t shoot during midday”), you can make your way over to the aspen tunnel and have it largely to yourself. If you choose your angles properly you will find that trees on both sides of the road are richly colored by the strong backlighting of the mid morning sun. A polarizing filter will drop the sky to a deep blue. Keep in mind, the wider your lens, the more of the color you can pack into your composition and the more accentuated the effect of the polarizer will be. I tend to use lenses such as a 15mm fisheye and 16-35mm superwide zoom in this spot in an attempt to find compositions in which the viewer feels immersed inside a grove of intense color and tall thin trees. (A 24mm lens, often considered “wide”, is definitely not wide enough here.) It is not a good idea to change lenses here, in fact you’ll see the dust from the dirt road hanging in the air all around you. When a car or horse trailer drives past I cover my lens and step off the road for a few minutes until the dust has cleared.

Keywords: aspen tunnel, quaking aspen, populus tremuloides, autumn.

Natural History Photography with Infrared Light

California, Infrared, Joshua Tree, Sierra Nevada

I have recently taken to shooting infrared photos while I am out on photo excursions. The motivation for me is that, if I can easily and inexpensively produce a different type of photo from what I normally shoot, all the while not affecting my ability to shoot traditional color photos, then why not give it a try. The upside is that I might produce a few more quality, interesting images. The downside is that if the effort may be an abject failure, but if it does not cost me much in time or money then the risk is acceptable.

For instance, while I was tooling around the Bishop Creek watershed photographing fall colors, I took along my Panasonic Lumix LX3 that has been converted to shoot true infrared. What this means is that I can whip this tiny but high quality camera out of my pocket and blast off some infrared shots spontaneously. Infrared photography using external infrared-pass filters on a conventional digital camera typically requires long exposure times and a tripod, making for cumbersome shooting. However, if the camera is modified internally to allow only infrared light to reach the sensor, then long exposure times are no longer required, and one can shoot infrared photos handheld. This really makes having an infrared camera along sensible and productive. Several companies exist to perform these modifications, and they are reasonably inexpensive. Plus, you can always have them convert the camera back to visible light again (for a fee) if you don’t like the results. Probably the most popular cameras for infrared conversation right now are the Canon G9/G10 (and soon to be G11) line, but I prefer the wider angle of the Lumix LX3 so I bought a second one and had it infrared-converted. This particular image comes from the Table Mountain area, when the late afternoon sun was dropping behind the cliffs, leaving much of the hillside in shadow but the aspens in side light.

Aspen trees in fall, eastern Sierra fall colors, autumn, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees in fall, eastern Sierra fall colors, autumn.
Image ID: 23320
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Here is another example I was quite happy with, a single Joshua Tree framed against a deep black, cloud-free, mid-morning sky. In this case, having an infrared camera along allowed me to shoot longer than I would normally have done. The light in Joshua Tree is really only good for about 30-60 minutes after sunrise, beyond that it is too harsh to shoot good images. However, the harsher and stronger the light becomes, the greater the amount of infrared light that is reflected by certain subjects such as plants. For this reason, infrared photography is usually at its best — in midday — when visible light photography is often at its worst. The two compliment one another well.

Joshua tree, sunrise, infrared, Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua tree, sunrise, infrared.
Image ID: 22888
Species: Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

I’m pretty happy with my little infrared-converted LX3 and its ability to shoot quick and reasonably high-quality infrared images. (Not to mention that we love our regular LX3 for snapshots and family photos.) However, I should mention there are some limitations to shooting infrared this way. The optics of todays digital cameras are designed for visible light, in particular, the wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum and how they pass through lens glass-air and glass-glass interfaces. Infrared light passes through the lens and into the sensor in a somewhat different way than visible spectrum light. I have found that this manifests in images that are softer than one would expect with visible light, and are sometimes prone to a vague “hot-spot” in the center of the image. The hot-spot seems to be in the blue color channel only, in my experience with the LX3, and only presents when the lens is at its widest angle (24mm-equivalent). By zooming in even a little bit, the hot-spot issue is alleviated. From the information I have read on some of the internet infrared photography websites, I think other cameras may exhibit both of these issues (soft focus, hot spots) as well but I am not sure as I have only used the LX3 in infrared. I believe the hot spot is a property of the camera sensor and the angle at which the light reaches the sensor, while the soft focus (most notably corner softness) is a characteristic of the optics and their transmission of light (infrared) in wavelengths quite different from those for which the lens was designed (visible). Usually I pull out either the red or green color channel to produce a black-and-white image, so the hot spot in the blue channel is not a great problem, but in those images in which I think I want the blue channel I just zoom in a little and all seems to be well. Also, the hotspot is not present in all images, it seems to have something to do with the direction of the sun and how intensely the subjects in the center of the image are reflecting infrared. Image softness is a property of infrared photography in general, and seems to me to be ameliorated somewhat by the strong contrast that infrared images typically have. In other words, the strong black-white contrast of an infrared image seems to more than make up for the soft detail, when the image is viewed as a whole.

Like this? Here are more infrared photos.

Keywords: infrared, joshua tree, yucca brevifolia, aspen, populus tremuloides.

Infrared Photo of a Giant Sequoia Tree

California, Infrared, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Trees, Yosemite

One tree in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is my favorite. Its huge, reasonably symmetric, and sits somewhat alone in meadow clearing so that morning light can illuminate almost the entire tree nicely. Plus, its a nice 2 mile run up through the grove from the parking lot. Usually when I arrive at The Tree I am the only person there, having seen noone on the way up the hill. It was the same this time. What a beautiful morning. I took my tiny mikro-pokket-infraredfotokam along with me and shot some photos. Below is my favorite one.

Giant sequoia tree towers over surrounding trees in a Sierra forest.  Infrared image, Sequoiadendron giganteum, Mariposa Grove

Giant sequoia tree towers over surrounding trees in a Sierra forest. Infrared image.
Image ID: 23304
Species: Giant sequoia tree, Sequoiadendron giganteum
Location: Mariposa Grove

Like this? Here are more infrared photos.

Keywords: giant sequoia, infrared, mariposa grove, yosemite national park, Sequoiadendron giganteum.

Banzai Run To Bishop Creek and Rock Creek

Sierra Nevada

I got reports that the Eastern Sierra fall colors in the Bishop Creek Canyon basin were starting to peak at higher elevations, and that one or two weather developments in the coming week might affect the weekend of 10/3-4, so I decided to jam up to Bishop (5 hours from my door to Schats bakkery!) at the last minute. It was a little stressful since we were in the middle of negotiating the purchase of a new home, but when photo opportunities develop what can one do? I was able to go, thanks to my understanding (and beautiful) wife. I shot Rock Creek basin on Sat 9/27 and all three Bishop Creek basins on Sun 9/28. Rock Creek: Many years ago, when I was running in high school, my team would do some high altitude training in June Lake and Mammoth each summer before starting the racing season. One year our coach dumped us at Toms Place and said “See you guys at the top of Rock Creek”. Huh? We ran the entire way up the canyon, ending up at Rock Creek Lake, it was crazy. Well, I’ve always wanted to revisit Rock Creek, so went up there on Saturday when I got to Bishop for a look at the aspens and lake. The color is about peak and looks good in areas, but I was not impressed with how “thin” it is, i.e., I did not see huge swaths of color around Rock Creek Lake, but rather smaller stands of aspens. I did not find the angles I was looking for. It sure was easier driving up to the lake than running. Bishop Creek: it is ON RIGHT NOW. Higher elevations are at peak with lots of lime-green and yellow color, large patches are near 100% yellow. The trees look pretty clean, only saw a few with black on the leaves and it was not enough to affect photos. North Lake looks fantastic, but is often crowded on weekend mornings. Fortunately I found a new vantage point there that I had largely to myself Sunday morning. The aspen tunnel from which I shot some of my favorite wide shots a few years ago is not as impressive right now, and strangely half of it is green while the other half is yellow (you can see it in the slideshow below). Sunrise at North Lake begins at 6:45am, alpenglow 30-40 minutes earlier, so I’ll save you the trouble of guessing. I forgot pants and only had my shorts, so it was pretty chilly standing beside the lake to catch alpenglow at 5:45am:

Lake Sabrina had plenty of yellow aspen stands around the lake, but I spent little time at Sabrina this visit. I did go to my favorite stand of very tall aspens near Sabrina to shoot epic wide stuff but the trees were still somewhat green so, while the angles look good, the color is less than epic. In fact, in many areas the taller aspens in all the basins are holding green while the scrub aspen are the ones going full yellow/orange right now. The grove above Aspendel looks good for that “up the basin” shot with the grove in the foreground. However, Cardinal Pond in Aspendel is totally green at this moment, as is Intake II. The most impressive swaths of color are in the South Fork, especially from Table Mountain campground up to South Lake. If weather cooperates and no blow comes through, lower parts of South Fork will come online and turn full yellow in the next week or so, already there is a mix of lime green / yellow in the lower parts of South Fork. And the good thing about South Fork is that the aspen stands are so accessible there is a lot of easy shooting to do, and they are so large that when they turn full color it will look great. Cross your fingers for no wind. Give it one week, two at the most, maybe less if the cold snap forcast for midweek materializes. On one weather source I heard mention of a second front suspected for next weekend (10/3-4). Some shots from Saturday and Sunday: Rock Creek Lake 9/27 and Bishop Creek Canyon 9/28 (North Lake, Sabrina, South Fork). All these images were shot in about 24 hours starting with a couple hours at the end of the day in Rock Creek, then from 5:45am until 5pm on Sunday with a short break to eat a tasty monster-sized burger and some delicious and heart-smart spicy fries at the Bishop Creek Lodge. After returning to Bishop I stoked up on caffeine and drove straight home. I always hate to leave the Sierras and hope to see the show again next fall.

Keywords: eastern sierra, 2009 fall color report, bishop creek canyon, rock creek canyon, aspen, photo, picture, image.

Fall Color in the Eastern Sierra

Sierra Nevada

Update 9/28/2009: see my report and latest photos from Bishop Creek and Rock Creek (cool slideshow).

Update 9/24/2009: some reports are showing up. The most informative are from Inge Fernau, Greg Boyer, Cory Freeman and Parcher’s Resort. If you are a weekend warrior and trying to assess which weekend will be “peak”, keep in mind that the color change is a continuum that generally moves down from the higher altitudes as the days go by from late September to mid October. All one really needs to shoot good aspen photos is to find one good grove that can be worked from hours. Chances are good you can find something worthwhile to shoot during the next 2-3 weeks, provided a front or big blow does not come through and clean out all the leaves across the eastern Sierra. You can read between the lines in these reports and guess which dates many are focusing on.

A few years ago I made one of my banzai photo outings** to catch some of the fall colors in the Eastern Sierra. I managed to pull off two mornings’ shooting in the Bishop Creek Canyon basins, and one sunset run up to the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains, on a jam-packed weekend. The key was paying close attention to the reports coming in from other photographers, making an educated guess as to what area along Highway 395 would be most productive, and going for it. The fact that 2006 was a super year for fall color in the Eastern Sierra, and that my weekend was just about at peak for Bishop Creek Canyon, certainly helped. I’m hoping to make another run up there sometime in late September or early October. And, as I did before, I’ll be paying close attention to advice and reports from several sources, foremost among them the list below. Note that two photographers, Greg Boyer and Cory Freeman, currently live in Bishop and are basically eyes-on-spot for those of us outside the area; I give their reports more credence than others, especially their comments about timing. Thanks Greg and Cory.

  • Inge Fernau / MagicalGlow.com. I first noticed Inge Fernau’s photography as a result of her incredibly rich fall color reports on Calphoto. How does she do it? She gets out there to so many places, then fills us all in with exactly what the conditions are. Inge’s blog is loaded with huge, beautiful images of the Eastern Sierra, and I’m hoping she publishes more of her fall color reports this year. Here is a two-part summary of her 2008 efforts, some spectacular images shown: 2008 Fall Color Summary Part 1 and 2008 Fall Color Summary Part 2.
  • Greg Boyer / Greg Boyer, a photographer in Bishop, has some great posts about the Sierra Nevada near Bishop, including several recent color reports.
  • Eastern Sierra Fall Color Reports, a thread at NaturePhotographers.net started by Bishop photographer Cory Freeman / Sierra Impressions.
  • Carol Leigh’s Calphoto.com. This is where many California photographers exchange information, especially timely, detailed reports concerning spring wildflowers and autumn foliage.
  • Steven Bourelle / SierraVisionsStock.com. Steven Bourelle gave me advice prior to my last visit to Bishop for fall colors, and he was spot on with his recommendations. He now has an e-book guide about photography in the Eastern Sierra and Bishop Creek Canyon packed with good information. Furthermore, his blog features the recent post “Eastern Sierra Nevada Fall Colors” about planning for a fall foliage shoot in the Eastern Sierra. Update: I purchased Steven’s e-book on Bishop Creek Canyon. If you are planning a first visit there this fall, and you want to make the most of your time, this e-book lays out the key places to stop for photos. A real time saver.
  • Dave Henry’s reports and tips at the Sacramento Bee are really good.
  • G. Dan Mitchell. G. Dan Mitchell’s Sierra Nevada photography is superb (especially his Yosemite images), and his blog is informative and well-written. Dan has made a number of recent posts advising on E. Sierra fall color, including “Sierra Nevada fall color season – coming sooner than you think!” loaded with good information about what to expect and how to plan for autumn in the Sierra Nevada.
  • John Wall’s California Nature Photographers. With John Wall at the helm, this blog features periodic posts from a wide variety of talented California nature photographers. I am sure there will be some fall color content appearing soon.
  • A Flickr group was created by Kahlee Brighton to discuss Eastern Sierra color, with a meet-up being considered.
  • Michael Frye, one of the best photographers around who focuses on Yosemite and surrounding areas, has a nice blog post about Autumn in Yosemite. (Michael Frye has THE BOOK on photographing in Yosemite, I own a copy and have referred to it often.)
  • Parcher’s Resort, near South Lake in Bishop Creek Canyon, maintains a fall color report in season.
  • Bishop weather forecast. (NWS)
  • Pictures of Fall Color in Bishop Creek Canyon on Google Earth. If you have Google Earth installed, this provides a map with 18 of my favorite aspen images appearing superimposed where they were taken in Bishop Creek Canyon. You can zoom around and click any of the tiny thumbnails in Google Earth to see the image large along with captions. In a perfect world I would offer to actually walk around with your camera and shoot the photos for you, but in lieu of that this is the best I can do.

Shameless plug: I’ve got a nice collection of fall color photos. Check them out, they really are pretty good if I do say so myself. (Heck, when the colors are peaking its hard to take a bad photo of turning aspens.)

If the peak color does not conflict with my daughter’s volleyball tryouts and I can get away from Southern California for a day or two, perhaps I will see you in the Eastern Sierra under some aspen trees this fall.

**banzai photographer (n): a photographer with a working spouse and multiple kids each of whom have lots of activities that require driving them all over the place during the week, help with homework in the evenings, and then driving them all over the place on the weekends; a photographer who crams five days of photography into a single weekend; a photographer with a banzai attitude about life; a photographer with a niche business of photographing banzai trees.

Keywords: eastern sierra fall color, aspen, report, foliage, photography, picture, bishop, photo, autumn, image, information, description.

Bishop Creek Canyon Fall Color on Google Earth

California, GeoBlog, Sierra Nevada

Update 9/28/2009: see my report and latest photos from Bishop Creek and Rock Creek (cool slideshow) as well as a summary of other links on the web about fall colors.

OK, last post about Fall Color in the Eastern Sierra. I am looking forward to getting up there and am optimistic this year will be a good one for turning aspens (Populus tremuloides). A couple photographers whom I follow have already remarked they have their reservations already. I was going through some of my favorite aspen shots from a few years ago, reminding myself where I shot them so I can be sure to revisit some of the same spots again. I put them on Google Earth (all of my images are geotagged so they feed automatically into Google Earth). If you have Google Earth installed, you can click either of these links. What **should** happen is that Google Earth should launch and soon after the 18 images will appear superimposed where they were taken in Bishop Creek Canyon. You can click any of the tiny thumbnails in Google Earth to see the image large along with captions.

I am now offering a new service: I will physically walk around with your camera and shoot the photos for you, process them and email you the best ones. It’s a win-win situation: you don’t need to ask your boss if you can ditch work in the middle of the week, you don’t need to make any tiresome hikes in the thin, cold, clean mountain air, you won’t make that long drive up 395 which cuts down on pollution, and the area is less crowded for me.

OK, that part was a lie, but in lieu of that showing you where I stood to take some nice photos is the best I can do. Enjoy.

I also recently posted some links where one can soon see reports about Fall Color in the Eastern Sierra. I don’t have reports to offer (I live in San Diego so its hard to just get up there for a day or two this time of year) but there are many talented California photographers who do share detailed and timely reports.

Shameless plug: I’ve got a nice collection of fall color photos. Check them out, they really are pretty good if I do say so myself. (Heck, when the colors are peaking its hard to take a bad photo of turning aspens.)

Keywords: fall color, eastern sierra, photo, picture, image, aspen, populus tremuloides, bishop creek canyon, google earth, geocoding, geotagging.

Photo of Devil’s Postpile National Monument

Sierra Nevada

We wrapped up our end-of-summer family vacation in Mammoth, which we love to visit in the summer. We took the bus to Devil’s Postpile National Monument, never having seen it before. Our timing could not have been better, we got there just before the sun went down, leaving the Devil’s Postpile itself in warm late-day light. The walk to the Postpile from the bus stop cannot even be called a hike, it is so short and flat. Next time, rather than visiting only the Devil’s Postpile, we’ll hike in from one of the surrounding trail heads and see some of the surrounding area too.

Devil's Postpile, a spectacular example of columnar basalt.  Once molten and under great pressure underground, the lava that makes up Devil's Postpile cooled evenly and slowly, contracting and fracturing into polygonal-sided columns.  The age of the formation is estimated between 100 and 700 thousand years old.  Sometime after the basalt columns formed, a glacier passed over the formation, cutting and polishing the tops of the columns.  The columns have from three to seven sides, varying because of differences in how quickly portions of the lava cooled, Devils Postpile National Monument, California

Devil’s Postpile, a spectacular example of columnar basalt. Once molten and under great pressure underground, the lava that makes up Devil’s Postpile cooled evenly and slowly, contracting and fracturing into polygonal-sided columns. The age of the formation is estimated between 100 and 700 thousand years old. Sometime after the basalt columns formed, a glacier passed over the formation, cutting and polishing the tops of the columns. The columns have from three to seven sides, varying because of differences in how quickly portions of the lava cooled.
Image ID: 23266
Location: Devils Postpile National Monument, California, USA

Devil's Postpile, a spectacular example of columnar basalt.  Once molten and under great pressure underground, the lava that makes up Devil's Postpile cooled evenly and slowly, contracting and fracturing into polygonal-sided columns.  The age of the formation is estimated between 100 and 700 thousand years old.  Sometime after the basalt columns formed, a glacier passed over the formation, cutting and polishing the tops of the columns.  The columns have from three to seven sides, varying because of differences in how quickly portions of the lava cooled, Devils Postpile National Monument, California

Devil’s Postpile, a spectacular example of columnar basalt. Once molten and under great pressure underground, the lava that makes up Devil’s Postpile cooled evenly and slowly, contracting and fracturing into polygonal-sided columns. The age of the formation is estimated between 100 and 700 thousand years old. Sometime after the basalt columns formed, a glacier passed over the formation, cutting and polishing the tops of the columns. The columns have from three to seven sides, varying because of differences in how quickly portions of the lava cooled.
Image ID: 23267
Location: Devils Postpile National Monument, California, USA

Interestingly, in spite of my having spent lots of time in Mammoth, I had never before seen Devil’s Postpile until last August. It is without a doubt the finest example of columnar jointing I’ve ever seen. The only previous example of such geologic columns that I have ever seen is in Yellowstone: the columns that make up Sheepeater Cliffs.

Sheepeater Cliffs, an example of columnar jointing in basalt due to shrinkage during cooling, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Sheepeater Cliffs, an example of columnar jointing in basalt due to shrinkage during cooling.
Image ID: 19794
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Devil’s Postpile is much larger and more impressive, but Sheepeater Cliff’s is somewhat more accessible, being immediately adjacent to a road and picnic area. Both are pretty cool!

Trivia: Devil’s Postpile was originally part of Yosemite National Park, but the discovery of gold near Mammoth Lakes led to Devil’s Postpile being removed fromt the National Park and being placed in public land. A plan to dynamite the structure so that it would collapse into an adjacent creek to create a hydroelectric dam was proposed, but citizens managed to persuade President Taft to instead create the Devil’s Postpile National Monument to protect the spectacular geology and surrounding environment in 1911.

Keywords: Devil’s Postpile, photo, picture, Sierra Nevada, image, photograph, Mammoth Mountain.

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors

California, Sierra Nevada

I recently posted some new images from a September 2009 visit to the Bishop Creek and Rock Creek watersheds, as well as a list of resources for learning more about where and when the fall colors can be expected to appear, and how to best photograph Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra.

I’m looking forward to seeing the aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) again in the Eastern Sierra. Here are a few of my favorites, all photographed in the Bishop Creek Canyon watershed at the peak of the 2006 fall color season.

Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon.
Image ID: 17547
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

Aspen trees cover Bishop Creek Canyon above Aspendel, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees cover Bishop Creek Canyon above Aspendel.
Image ID: 17528
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

Aspen trees displaying fall colors rise above a High Sierra road near North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees displaying fall colors rise above a High Sierra road near North Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon.
Image ID: 17501
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Aspen trees display Eastern Sierra fall colors, Lake Sabrina, Bishop Creek Canyon.
Image ID: 17498
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

keywords: fall color, eastern sierra, quaking aspen, populus tremuloides, autumn, photo, image, picture, photography.

Giant Sequoia Pictures

Sierra Nevada, Trees, Yosemite

Many of my giant sequoia pictures are now on Photoshelter, which is the source of this nifty slideshow. Sequoia trees really are the most majestic of all plants. They are the largest (i.e., most massive) life forms on earth, and they are nearly the tallest (exceeded only by their cousins the coastal redwoods in the Pacific Northwest). Giant sequoia trees are one of the longest lived organisms on earth, exceeded in longevity most notably by Ancient Bristlecone pine trees (Pinus longaeva). Enjoy images of these “pillars of the sierra”.

A giant sequoia tree, soars skyward from the forest floor, lit by the morning sun and surrounded by other sequioas.  The massive trunk characteristic of sequoia trees is apparent, as is the crown of foliage starting high above the base of the tree, Sequoiadendron giganteum, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California

A giant sequoia tree, soars skyward from the forest floor, lit by the morning sun and surrounded by other sequioas. The massive trunk characteristic of sequoia trees is apparent, as is the crown of foliage starting high above the base of the tree.
Image ID: 23260
Species: Giant sequoia tree, Sequoiadendron giganteum
Location: Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

My website also has many giant sequoia tree photos (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

Keywords: sequoia, giant sequoia tree, photo, picture, image, Sequoiadendron giganteum, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, California, sierra nevada.