The high winds though the passes come to a standstill and trees stand tall and still in the cool night air. Dead silence rang loudly as not even a small wave lapped against the beach. Tenaya Lake which had been chaotic with waves just moments earlier calms instantly becomes a near perfect reflecting pool for the Heavens above. The mystical Milky Way dominates the sky with both light and shadows from streams of stars and dust cross the Earths night sky. Distant light from the Big Valley cities of Merced, Atwater, Livingston and a number of others running up and down the 99 Freeway spill light pollute skyward along the horizon with a brilliant bright orange glow from businesses and street lights making a nice deep orange backlight to Olmstead Point just to right of center.

I don't think we have ever heard the forest this quiet and all would have been peaceful if not for the constant stream of traffic along Highway 120 and the never ending skyway of high flying jet liners that seem to make Yosemite their main flight path as they head to distant destinations. At time it looked like a large tic tack toe board in the sky. It took a lot of patience and more than a few attempts but I finally managed to get a few shots without anything but the most distant flights. You could look down in to the waters of the smooth lake and clearly see constellations. All in all, a wonderful night in Yosemite under the stars.

© Darvin Atkeson

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