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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Every February Yosemite waterfall turns to lava

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read...popular_viewed

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) A window of time just opened in Yosemite National Park when nature photographers wait, as if for an eclipse, until the moment when the sun and earth align to create a fleeting phenomenon.

    This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February if the winter weather cooperates. On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park's lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan.

    Every year growing numbers of photographers converge on the park, their necks craned toward the ephemeral Horsetail Fall, hoping the sky will be clear so they can duplicate the spectacle first recorded in color in 1973 by the late renowned outdoors photographer Galen Rowell.

    "Horsetail is so uniquely situated that I don't know of any other waterfall on earth that gets that kind of light," said Michael Frye, who wrote the book "The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite."


    More at link with a beautiful picture....has anybody seen this 'happening'?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    Palm Springs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reader View Post
    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read...popular_viewed

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) A window of time just opened in Yosemite National Park when nature photographers wait, as if for an eclipse, until the moment when the sun and earth align to create a fleeting phenomenon.

    This marvel of celestial configuration happens in a flash at sunset in mid-February if the winter weather cooperates. On those days the setting sun illuminates one of the park's lesser-known waterfalls so precisely that it resembles molten lava as it flows over the sheer granite face of the imposing El Capitan.

    Every year growing numbers of photographers converge on the park, their necks craned toward the ephemeral Horsetail Fall, hoping the sky will be clear so they can duplicate the spectacle first recorded in color in 1973 by the late renowned outdoors photographer Galen Rowell.

    "Horsetail is so uniquely situated that I don't know of any other waterfall on earth that gets that kind of light," said Michael Frye, who wrote the book "The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite."


    More at link with a beautiful picture....has anybody seen this 'happening'?
    Have I seen it? Yes and no.

    What a coincidence that you should post today. Over the weekend, I watched the classic 1950s film, The Caine Mutiny, starring Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg. In one scene, Robert Francis and his girlfriend are vacationing at Yosemite when somebody yells "fire on the mountain" and the phenomenon you describe is shown. It was obviously shot on location; special effects weren't that good in those days.

    I turned to my husband and asked, "What the hell is that?" Thanks for providing the answer.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2003
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    Palm Springs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Have I seen it? Yes and no.

    What a coincidence that you should post today. Over the weekend, I watched the classic 1950s film, The Caine Mutiny, starring Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg. In one scene, Robert Francis and his girlfriend are vacationing at Yosemite when somebody yells "fire on the mountain" and the phenomenon you describe is shown. It was obviously shot on location; special effects weren't that good in those days.

    I turned to my husband and asked, "What the hell is that?" Thanks for providing the answer.
    I need to amend what I posted above. It is incorrect.

    Thanks to YouTube, I now understand that what was is featured in the film is the "fire fall" they used to have on El Capitan, produced by burning wood to create hot coals then pushing them over the edge of the summit at sunset. (It's hard to imagine anyone in California thinking it safe to throw hot coals off a cliff, but whatever.)

    That is no longer done, apparently, but the golden appearance of Horseshoe Falls at sunset is reminiscent of and sometimes confused with the fire fall they used to do for tourists. I regret the misinformation I disseminated earlier.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
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    No prob, Nova....I'm glad you posted that because you mentioned The Caine Mutiny and reminded me I need to watch it again...always thought that was one of Bogart's best performances.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    I went last Monday. It's pretty amazing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Montecito
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    2,526
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I need to amend what I posted above. It is incorrect.

    Thanks to YouTube, I now understand that what was is featured in the film is the "fire fall" they used to have on El Capitan, produced by burning wood to create hot coals then pushing them over the edge of the summit at sunset. (It's hard to imagine anyone in California thinking it safe to throw hot coals off a cliff, but whatever.)

    That is no longer done, apparently, but the golden appearance of Horseshoe Falls at sunset is reminiscent of and sometimes confused with the fire fall they used to do for tourists. I regret the misinformation I disseminated earlier.
    Nova, thanks for the clarification. I just opened this thread for the first time tonight, and had been wondering when seeing its title. Yes, I was confused.

    I saw the "fire fall" on El Capitan when I was a child. Although it might have been exciting for the moment, the far more fantastic displays that Nature put on during daylight hours were those which created lasting memories for me.

    To iamnotagolem: Did you take that photograph? It's outstanding...thank you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    4,099
    Yeah I took it Monday but there wasn't much water. I was hoping to get back up later in the week but we've all been sick and it's been cloudy. They are closing the highway Wednesday to begin repairs from the landslide last month. So I'll have to try again next year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    36,310
    Very cool, thanks to the OP for bringing this phenomenon to my attention and thanks to iamnotagolem, beautiful photo.
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