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Yosemite February Fire Fall: A Hot Photo Op

It’s a good thing I read Aquafornia or I might never have known about the odd, rare and spectacular illusion known as the Yosemite “Fire Fall”… which actually involves no fire whatsoever.

Left, Horsetail Falls-Yosemite, by dlr9000 on Flickr

In Yosemite there is an almost non-existent waterfall called “Horsetail Falls.” During the last two weeks in February if conditions are perfect, photographers and spectators can witness what appears to be molten lava spilling over the Falls, but what is, in fact, an illusion caused by the angle of the sun.

“Perfect conditions” means first, sunlight in a clear, perfect sky (despite the clouds and storms that are common in Winter.) Second, there’s just a two-week window; the setting sun is positioned correctly ONLY during the last two weeks of February. Last, there must be water trickling over the falls.

Those with luck and patience will be rewarded with spectacular photos such as these. Hot to try? Learn a few of the basics here.

By howardignatius on Flickr

By daleberts on Flickr