Stepping out of the car in to the darkest night in the dense forest of the high country of Yosemite National Park can be a little unnerving as can't tell when you are going to step in to a deep ravine. But slowly your eyes adjust and the sky explodes with more stars than you can count. Billions of tiny lights explode in to the night sky and the Milky Way appears as a ribbon of lights and color across the sky with dark areas running through it. Eventually your eyes adjust and you can now clearly see the ground littered with rocks and even some tiny flowers still in bloom across the grassy field of Tuolumne Meadows. In the distance, Lembert Dome rises into the night sky. A granite monolith that dominates the far end of the meadows. The greenish glow on the horizon created by flashes of lightning in the far distance generated from the clouds that earlier covered the High Sierra. The night would have been absolutely quiet if not for the roar of the Tuolumne River just behind you and the two excited photographers pointing out all the features as they come in to view. Only a slight hint of smoke from the now fading campfires lingered. Fortunately by then, even the ravenous mosquitoes had gone to bed for the night making for a remarkably peaceful scene.
© Darvin Atkeson