Yosemite Valley - Today I met The Three Brothers


I parked along the shoulder of the road in a small pullout in a shady section of the valley. I added my lunch (dried cranberries, pecans, peppered salami , cheese sticks and a bottle of water) to my camera pack and started off in the direction of the Merced River.

No schedule, agenda or deadline. My kind of day! I was welcomed by the shadows then began a random stroll through the forest that first took me to some backlit grass that shined with a lovely warm golden glow. I paused for a moment in appreciation. Next I found the remains of a burnt tree. Most of the tree was on the ground slowly breaking down and replenishing the needs of the forest. But, that's not what caught my attention. It was the oddly shaped charred stump which obviously once connected the tree to the forest floor in a vertical orientation. The Stump was still erect, with a four foot tall hollowed out section made of mostly the outer bark. Burnt black and shiny in the sunlight and dull coal black on the shady side. The lines and patterns of the burnt wood were very interesting to observe. Beauty in the most unusual places! Love it. Next I found a living erect tree with six golf ball sized mushrooms growing on its bark. Unfortunately they all were currently sitting in the direct sun and I was unable to create a composition that I liked so I left them to enjoy their afternoon basking in the sun.

Now along the Merced I stopped often to enjoy the view or try and frame up a new composition. At times I found myself standing in six inches of icy water several feet out into the river. It was on one of these journeys out into the river that I first noticed the Three Brothers and their partial reflections. The water was a little choppy and the reflections were not very clear, but the thought of the possibilities really got me excited. I continued to work my way downstream stopping often to take another look.

When I first came into view of this scene I just stood there for at least a couple of minutes. Barley moving. Still carrying my camera pack on my back. Looking. Absorbing the unexpected beauty. Total joy. Amazed and grateful that I continued walking and found this location.

I spent well over an hour within thirty feet of this spot creating several different compositions, eating my lunch and waiting for some clouds to pass overhead (which barely happened). What a special place this is. I'll be back.

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