I took a photography trip to Yosemite, CA last week. Its one of my favorite places to escape to. It really helps to balance me out against the demands and trials of work. It 'cleanses my palette' - if you will.
We had beautiful weather - a mix of sun, clouds, and sprinkles of rain. Temperatures in the 50s during the day. And at this time of year, the park is less populated with people, so its easy to get around, and park pretty much wherever you'd like. Some fall color still clung to the trees, but winter's effect was beginning to show itself in the browning of trees and grasses. Though most things appeared normal in the park - one thing was sorely missing - water. Both Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls were but a trickle - barely visible against the rock, and Mirror Lake had no mirror. No water at all. We stayed at the Inn at the Falls - where you can usually hear the constant pounding sound of Yosemite Falls in the background. But not this time. Only the Merced still had some slow running water, but even there you could walk out onto sandbars that are usually covered in deep rushing water.
Affirmation of California's drought was in clear evidence. There is also what looked like indications of the bark beetle moving in - brown pine trees dotting the area. Tree crews were removing some trees along the roadways in the valley, but it was unclear if the trees were dead, or interfering with the roadways somehow.
I pray for rain to come to California in normal amounts this winter. Though it will take quite a bit to fill our languishing reserves and rivers, I hope it doesn't come all at once - we don't want mudslides. But snow - snow would be good. The cold is coming. Then - just add water.