Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Fern Spring, Late May
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Fern Spring, Late May
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 150mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Fern Spring, Late May

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA, 5/28/2009

This natural spring in Yosemite Valley runs all year, but is at its best as seen here in early springtime. Even during the driest part of summer the spring flows, slowly releasing moisture from winter precipitation. Fern Spring is part of a natural water filtration system. Rocks and sand filter rain and melting snow as it travels underground from the Yosemite Valley rim. The overflow creates the smallest famous waterfall in Yosemite! People stop by and fill their drinking water bottles. While preparing my camera here, I was startled to witness a local young man walk to the spring, suspend himself over it, and lap water directly into his mouth like a cat drinking milk from a bowl! A spring occurs where underground water flows naturally to the surface. Although Fern Spring is a natural feature of the valley, its popularity among visitors has compromised the lush ferns and other flora that once bordered it. Over the years there have been restoration projects. In the mid-1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps' work in the valley included rehabilitating springs to make them safe for drinking. They turned Fern Spring into a rock garden by arranging rocks at the site and planting a variety of ferns, wildflowers, and ground covers. A log guardrail was installed to define the parking area, and log seats were placed in the woods around the spring. In 2005 and 2007 the Yosemite Fund organization restored Fern Spring with native seedlings and by cleaning up the site, installing protective split-rail fencing and interpretive signage to protect the area and preserve water quality. Native Americans consider this spring not only a source of water, but a source of life, and this place has great spiritual significance.

Fern Spring, Late May

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