Ansel Adam's called the Sierra The Range of Light, no wait, that might be John Muir, letme check...Muir!, Adam's has a book, Yosemite and the Range of Light.
The mountains are so ancient, and solid granite hereabouts, but the play of light on them gets everyone's attention. For photographers it is an ultimate challenge. Aritists just give in, take what they can from a field sketch, or a reference photo, and try to recall what they see and put into the picture. The light is ephemeral and constantly changing--the Ephemeral Mountains.
(hooey! already a book of that title!)
The rainbows are what maybe most express this. I call Yosemite sometimes The Valley of the Rainbows. And there's moonbows, this time of year with a full moon and the Falls full, a moonbow shows up at the lower Falls. I imagine at the other falls too...I hadn't thought of that...worth a nite trek to Vernal.
One nite my roommate dragged me out to see a moonbow around the moon (it may have been a circumhorizonal arc thing). I tried to photograph it, but all I have is a recollection. It looked like the aura around the Catholic saint so popular in Mexico...my roommate being Catholic was totally taken with it, much as I was with the Circumhorizontal arc which I saw for the first time on my first time atop Half Dome. In the High Country these are quite common.
You never know if you will ever see again the things you see in the Sierra.
When I come back from a hike, hiking back, my back is turned to what I've seen, many paddle on back with nary a care, but I'm all the time glimpsing back, looking back from the bus window at Tenaya and Pywaick.
It is truly sad, and I suppose it's the sadness that is in beauty. Watteau captured it in his famous painting in the illustration, Leaving from Cythera.
Tioga is open, and the hiker's bus begins June 1.
Wiki has a bit on Cythera, spelled Kythera.
Tree in the Door
May 16, 2007