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Your Scene: Lava flow effect in Yosemite National Park

A daily feature highlighting photos from Times readers.

March 04, 2011
  • Horsetail Falls may look as though it's on fire, but it's actually the setting sun casting a reddish hue.
Horsetail Falls may look as though it's on fire, but it's actually… (Robert Matesic )

Yosemite National Park doesn't have any active volcanoes, but this photo of El Captain rock may suggest otherwise. What Robert Matesic of San Pedro captured, however, is a rare phenomenon that occurs at Horsetail Falls in the winter.

"The angle of the setting sun sets the waterfall on fire, like the fire is falling down the cliff," Matesic says. "The day was perfect, with no clouds in the sky, which was unusual at this time of year, and the small amount [of] water falling down El Capitan made [for] a perfect display." The fire effect usually occurs from mid- to late February and is best viewed from the El Capitan picnic area.

Horsetail Falls is on the eastern side of El Capitan rock in Yosemite Valley. For more information, visit our complete guide to Yosemite.

View past photos we've featured. To upload your own, visit our reader travel photo gallery. When you upload your photo, tell us where it was taken and when. The more we know about the photo, the more likely it is that we'll feature it in our daily "Your Scene" posts here. To help us credit you properly, please include your name and city of residence.

-- Jason La

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