July: Long Meadow

July 6, 2022

Sixteen months! It’s been sixteen months since I’ve posted here. I forgot about this blog. Though I’ve taken thousands of photographs, I have not kept up well with learning the craft of photography. I’m still using my Nikon D3300 camera from 2016 but have moved back into the point-and-shoot mode instead of using the manual mode. In case you have forgotten too, here’s a refresher about my photo group.

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Lupine along the hillside of Highway 41. The blackened trunks were burned in the 2017 Railroad Fire.

For the past six years I have been meeting with a small group of friends who are interested in photography. We met as members of the now-defunct Mariposa Photo Club and named our group of seven (originally ten), FotoPosa.  We continue to meet on the first Wednesday of each month for photo shoots.

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Pumice. About 9,000 years ago volcanic activity formed these rocks.

Throughout the years we’ve photographed wildflowers, orchards, the Milky Way, the Mariposa History Center, the Gem and Mineral Museum, the Merced Wildlife Reserve, trees, sunsets, reflections, waterfalls and more. You can scroll through this blog’s archives to see.

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Looking out at the 2017 Railroad Fire burn scar.

There were only three of us for July’s outing. I was passenger in Marilyn’s large super duty truck. Larry followed in his 4WD car with his dogs. We drove deep into the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite’s border in Madera County hoping to reach Star Lakes. The outing would include a short hike up to the lakes.

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Looking back at the dirt road. More burn scars.

But we took a wrong turn on a forest service road and ended up in Long Meadow.

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Our map. Unless you’re adept at map reading, it’s easy to take a wrong turn.

Along the way we stopped and photographed the interesting sights.

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Western azalea growing near the meadow’s barbed wire fence.

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Sticky cinquefoil. I crawled under the barbed wire fence to get this shot.

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Caterpillar nest of the California tent moth. The black specks are fecal matter.

After a three-mile drive on a dusty dirt road, a creek blocked our path. Even though we were in a high clearance vehicle, we couldn’t get around the boulders. Larry’s car was already pushing its limit driving that rocky, rutted road, so he called it quits.

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Upper section of Ranier Creek.

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Columbine growing near the creek.

Larry easily turned his car around and Marilyn carefully navigated what felt like a 16-point turn on the narrow path, then we headed back the way we came.

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Cows grazing in Long Meadow.

On Thursday—the day after our outing—the Washburn Fire began in Wawona, Yosemite National Park. It burned an area of the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees. It also spread and burned the whole area we explored the day before.

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Happy horses eating healthy grass.

How lucky we were not to have been present during the fire and to have photographed the meadow and its surroundings before it burned. I hope the ranchers removed the cows and horses in time.

Stay tuned for photographs from future FotoPosa outings.

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