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Hanami means "flower viewing" in Japanese. It gets its own special word because the blooming of the cherry blossoms here is a huge deal. Meteorologists visit the trees every day trying to predict when they'll bloom, signs go up around the city that say Sakura (cherry blossom in japanese) on them, and restaurants even have special Sakura cookies for sale.

People get into it.

The cherry blossoms don't last long, though. After a week they fall to the ground, which means that there is one big weekend for cherry blossom viewing.

Breaking Ice

On photoBlog

Longtail Boat, by Suprada on Flickr.

Location: Tioga Lake, Yosemite NP, California

This photo was taken during the memorial day holiday weekend, late May. The location is Tioga lake, just outside the Yosemite National Park east entrance. This glacier-carved sub-alpine lake and canyon are located on the highest paved road in California, the Tioga Pass road (Hwy 120). At the time I visited this place, the snow had been cleared and the Tioga pass had opened for the season two weeks before this photo was taken. The little snow in the mountains and the breaking ice on the water are a testament to the end of winter. The day was bright and crisp, with white fluffy clouds in the sky. The temperature, at this height was pleasantly cool. The lake waters were frigid. I did take off my shoes and step into the water hoping to get close to some rocks in the water... within 30s, my toes were turning blue!

To photograph this scene, I used a super-wide angle lens, the Canon 10-22mm EF-S at 10mm. I was very close to the foreground, my lens, a couple of feet away from the nearest point. I hoped to use the lake and the ice to get to the forest and the mountains.

Technical Info: Exposure: 1/350s at f/8.0 Focal Length: 10mm ISO: 100 WB: Daylight Lens: Canon 10-22mm EF-S

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