We began the first day with plans for a relatively easy activity close to our temporary home in the Wawona Hotel.
The Mariposa Grove is a mixed evergreen forest containing old growth Giant Sequoia (a.k.a.redwood), Incense Cedar,
Sugar Pine, and Douglas Pine--many of them large, some of them enormous. So for our first outing in Yosemite we took
the local shuttle from the Wawona to the Grove. Then, after meandering around among the redwoods, we hiked the
relatively easy 6 miles back to the hotel.
It was Spring, so there were wildflowers everywhere.
In parts of the Grove there were also the blackened remnants of past wildfires.
There were also many squirrels and it was obvious that they were accustomed to being
provided with snacks by the larger and more numerous two-legged fauna. It was common
for squirrels to approach and to hang around long enough to have their picture taken.
If you looked carefully you could find small individual flowers hidden in the detritus.
The root base of a fallen redwood. This demonstrates: a) redwoods can be quite large;
and b) redwoods are very resistant to insects and rot, allowing this root mass to remain
relatively intact for years. This was an extremely popular background for portraits
containing groups of tourists, but here John decided to do without a human foreground.
Okay, admittedly we had already completed a number of line-up shots with various subsets
of our group of eleven.
The Grizzly Giant tree. This ancient redwood is 209 feet tall and 96 feet in diameter
at its base. Note the large fire scar (just behind the group of tourists in white shirts).
These scars are a common characteristic in the older sequoias.
Bob and Lori explore one of the informational plaques, this one comparing the size of the Grizzly Giant
with several other large objects.
The California Tree, another popular tourist photo opportunity.
In this case, John and Lori have lined up for tree-tunnel immortality.
... and then it was Danny and Sylvia's turn.
Shannon and Laura try an experimental approach to tourist photography while waiting
for others to take pictures of the California Tree. In the background, behind two
strangers, Beth can be seen, but Danny and Sylvia hid their faces behind a convenient
The trunk of this dead tree has been taken over by lichens, which in turn have provided a
prime environment for insects and spiders.
The trail back to the Wawona followed a well-worn channel through this meadow.
The pictures of this trip are divided into several sets: