Friday, May 15, 2009

Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve

On Wednesday May 13th, I drove to the Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve to get a look at the “Rhodies”. I really had no reports on any bloom yet, but since I am now unemployed, I will not have the means to visit the Redwoods National Parks for the gorgeous bloom. If you want to see the “Rhodies” bloom, Redwood National Park is the way to go, see this older blog:
Journal of my travels for the perfect photo
I met up with my friend Jim Reynolds at the trailhead inside the Park. It was a real disappointment – we only found a few good blossoms. I have more close-ups than grand views. We just made the best of it. A local told us that this was the peak season here.


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Pink Rhododendron Blossom – Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve. May 13, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Pink Rhododendron Blossom – Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve. May 13, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


These photographs are not in the public domain! They may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau
Please visit my website for this and more. All images may be purchased or licensed in a range of sizes.

I also posted more images in the Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve set on flickr.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chasing the Dogwoods

Even so I was going to be out of work very soon, I played hooky from the consulting job I had on Monday April 27th. I was itching to see the progress the Dogwoods were making in Yosemite. I take highway 140 when I drive into the Yosemite Valley and I know the Highway Patrol is out on 140 in full force, just waiting to catch speeders like me……I could not slow down fast enough and was clocked at 67 miles/hr. That ticket just came in the mail ($218.- ouch). My fault I know better to turn on cruise control when driving on highway 140 or 120. Enough of this…..
I encountered some Mule Ears and other yellow blossoms along the Merced River Canyon.


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Mule Ears – Merced River Canyon. April 27, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Yellow ? – Merced River Canyon. April 27, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


Once I arrived at Yosemite I checked for the dogwoods. The bloom was very sparse and most of the ones that did bloom were still greenish. Too much light also made it difficult to get a good shot, so I opted for shady areas.
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Backlit Dogwood Blossom – Yosemite National Park. April 27, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Dogwood Blossoms – Yosemite National Park. April 27, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


On Saturday May 2nd was another day to go to Yosemite to hunt for dogwoods. Based on what I had seen on Monday the bloom should be a little better. It started to rain once I passed through Mariposa. Dogwoods in the rain are a good thing for the photography I had in mind. I was going to concentrate on Macro photography. I met an old friend of mine inside the park. He just started to become interested in wild life photography a couple of years ago, but also was interested in landscape.
My first stop for dogwoods was in the residential area of the village. On Monday I had spotted a couple of pink dogwood trees blooming – yes, I know they are not native to California, but they are absolutely beautiful. An accident had closed the road and the access to them on Monday evening and I had to give up on the shot. The rain made for much better images….


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Pink Dogwoods – Yosemite – The blurry Version. May 2, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


I posted a few other images in the California Nature Photographer Blog


My shooting partner wanted some more landscape so we stopped at the the Cascade Falls. These falls were roaring with the rain and snowmelt coming down. We parted here after he broke his lens……..
The strongest show of dogwoods was around Curry Village, but I skipped it. Not sure why, but there was already a lot of traffic in the area. I found other places and got a lot of close-ups.


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Dogwood Blossom in the Rain – Yosemite May 2, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


By 11AM it was time to leave the park, it was getting crowded, even with the rain. I took several back roads and found Royal Larkspur, Fairy Lantern, Farewell to Spring Clarkia, Ithuriel Spear and others I have no name for.


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Royal Larkspur in the Rain – May 2, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Farewell to Spring Clarkia – May 2, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


Knowing that the weekend of May 9th was most likely the peak for the Valley Dogwoods, I made the decision to go to Yosemite one more time. The dogwoods did not disappoint.
The Valley was crowded with photographers, I ran into Michael Routh I had met in 2004 during my fall color safaris. I also finally met photographer Dan Mitchell who was shooting dogwoods in the shade. I had just finished getting some backlit images of the gorgeous dogwoods around Curry Village and was on my way out of the valley. One more stop at the “gates of the Valley” and here was this photographer shooting the dogwoods in the shade, just as I had planned on to do. I struck up a conversation and so we met……remarkable!


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Sun kissed Dogwood Blossoms – Curry Village, Yosemite - May 9, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


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Dogwood Blossom – Yosemite - May 9, 2009. © Copyright Inge Fernau .


These photographs are not in the public domain! They may not be used on websites, blogs, or in any other media without explicit advance written permission from Inge Fernau