Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California – United States

There’s just something about the way the world’s most beautiful natural settings look and feel in the winter time. The air feels crisper and cleaner – pure on a level it just doesn’t any other time of year. Everything’s so still, serene, and peaceful. At times, especially when it’s very cold, you definitely get the impression the earth is sleeping, dreaming quietly away as it prepares to emerge into fragrant, energetic life with the return of spring. The presence of a recent snow really amplifies that effect, making everything around you seem even purer and more thoroughly at rest.

Whispers was captured in California’s stunning Yosemite Valley. It was a chilly but serene Christmas Eve – quite late in the morning, but not afternoon just yet. California isn’t exactly the first location you think of when you imagine a picture perfect white Christmas, even if you’re in the heart of Yosemite Valley. This year, however, the area had received an ample helping of snowfall just in time for the holiday. It was just enough to set off the natural beauty of the mountain peaks and thick pine forests to perfection.

The majestic mountain range stretched gracefully toward a crystal blue winter’s sky filled with beautiful, puffy white clouds. The fresh snowfall was graceful, still, and pristine where it fell across the mighty backs of the tallest peaks. The fact that Christmas was the next day brought to mind images of spicy plum cakes kissed with just the right amount of white confectioner’s sugar. The palette of the landscape around me under its dusting of snow was modest and understated – steely slates and loamy umbers along with the piney green of the lush valley forest. Straight ahead, I spotted the barest hints of crimson and goldenrod, the last whispers of autumn echoing softly under the snow on the day before Christmas.


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