The Bridalveil

Wreathed in Alpenglow

I told you I had been thinking about the valley recently. When last I was there, our camp stove broke and we bought sandwiches and sat on the edge of a swollen Merced to watch the last rays of light hit the saddle of the Bridalveil. The river was high. Never before did I fully appreciate why the Bridalveil was so named, but seeing it cleave from the saddle of granite in a thin, clean sheet of lace and fall gracefully to the valley floor, I immediately understood. The valley's eponymous falls may be more violent, spectacular and famous, but this waterfall, placed as it is at the entrance of the valley has a subtle beauty the other lacks.

The Bridalveil, wreathed in Alpenglow

Later, in the blue cool of the gloaming, bats flitted from the trees and spun in helices above the river, and, just as we headed for camp, an adolescent black bear passed through the meadow on the other side of the torrent, to spend his evening hours foraging. I tried for an image or two of the bats, silhouetted against the opalescent twilight sky, but failed to come away with anything. I made one or two blurry images of the bear with a normal lens from rather far away and realized, sometimes, no photograph is needed; the bats, the bear, the sandwich, the sky and that swollen, glassy torrent of a river are all locked away safely in my memory's vault and represented by these two simple frames.

The Bridalveil in last light

Both were taken with a 24-70mm f/2.8 at ISO 100 with a ND 3.0 filter.