RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


Yosemite National Park in February by popular request … part one

These days I post my photos to Facebook because it’s easier. But I have those holdout friends who don’t want to utilize FB for whatever reasons… so I am acquiescing to their requests to see my photos of my latest trip to Yosemite. Y’all had better appreciate this!


I feel very fortunate that I was able to visit Yosemite in February. It was between the virus that ate the Ahwahnee Hotel in January and the coronavirus that closed the park in March.

This is the first view we always see when coming into Yosemite on the motor coach. Half Dome and a peek at the valley.

We arrived at the Yosemite Lodge just as the Golden Hour descended on the mountains. I rushed outside with my camera.

The next day we hiked up the Bridalveil Fall trail. Because of the lack of rain the Merced River was just a trickle but it gave us a chance to see the beautiful rocks.

Good thing I brought along my crampons and ice pick! Ha ha ha… no chance…

My friend and I ate lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel Saturday and Sunday. I ordered the same sandwich both days… I think it was called the Californian or something like that… a salad between two pieces of bread plus a side salad and purple/orange chips. Worked for me!

Half Dome through the trees.

Besides the natural beauty of Yosemite I always love all the plane trails overhead.

Because of the drought there was very little water in the Merced River but still enough for good reflections.

Mountain climbing lessons are offered at Yosemite. See the teeny weeny people halfway up? I’ll enjoy the view from ground level, thank you.

Beautiful stained glass windows in the lobby of the Ahwahnee with a view of the mountains outside.

All we had to do was step outside the back door of our room at Yosemite Lodge to walk along the trail by the Merced River. Paradise.

Ahwahnee Hotel through the trees.

Below are images of the plane trails as the evening crept up on us. You can call them plane trails if you like, but I think it’s the spirits of the mountains sending messages to commune with the universe.

My friend did a couple of quick sketches in our room. I liked them and asked her if I could share them. See below.

Yosemite Falls: walking back from the Ahwahnee.

View from our patio.

Me just before we boarded the bus to head home. I’m ready to go back already!

Of course, I have a ton more photos that I can post at a later date but these will have to do for now.

We were very fortunate to be able to visit in February just after the virus attack at the Ahwahnee in January and the Coronavirus that shut the park down in March. I had three other trips planned this year that have all been canceled. But I’m grateful to be stuck in Culver City! It could be so much worse…

Stay well, keep safe, my friends, and carry on!



Countdown: my favorite dozen 2018 photos and a bonus

life is a canvas

San Gabriel Mountains from my roof deck in Culver City.

As if I don’t have enough to do, I decided to set myself the task of coming up with my twelve favorite photos for the year… one for each month. Some months I had fifty favorites and some months I wouldn’t have picked one for my top twelve… nevertheless I had to stick to my rule of one from each month. This exercise was a great lesson for me as I realized some months in 2018 I didn’t get out and about enough with my camera and I really struggled to find a photo. I need to be more consistent.

The above photo was taken from my roof deck on Christmas Day and is my New Year’s card to you all. One of my favorite quotes just happened to be floating around in the sky! Note the airplane just left of top center.

So here we go.



Sunrise with resident crows from my roof deck, Culver City, California


Yosemite Upper Falls framed by tree branch. Yosemite National Park, California


Huntington Library

Desert Garden at Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Los Angeles County, California


Freddie and Frankie

A little out of focus but this photo really shows their true personalities. Frankie looking disdainful and obviously planning the next mischievous caper while Freddie is wide-eyed and innocent, ready to be splat in the middle of Frankie’s next big idea!


worthing seafront

Worthing Seafront, Sussex, England. The last place my parents and I lived before they decided to emigrate to the US.


butterfly pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum


deck sunset

Sunset from my deck looking out on to downtown Culver City and Sony Studios


canadian rockies

Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canadian Rockies


william s hart

The William S. Hart Park and Museum, Newhall, California. Detail of wall



Los Angeles Flower mart

Succulents at Los Angeles Flower Mart, downtown


City Hall Christmas Eve

An early Christmas present to the people of LA as the tree at Grand Park mirrors Los Angeles City Hall.


View from Baldwin Overlook

View of downtown Los Angeles and snow on the mountains from the highest point in Culver City, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (a California State Park).

I haven’t been on WordPress very much lately. I haven’t given up but I made a big decision and it’s going to be taking up a lot of my time. I probably won’t be posting much here but I will make the effort to go look at your posts to keep up with what you are doing. In the meantime, you can join me on my personal page on Facebook (Roslyn M Wilkins in Culver City). If you send me a friend request and I recognize who you are, I will respond. Or join me on my photo page by clicking on the Roslyn’s Photoart image in the right hand column.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!



Yosemite – part four – my dream come true… SNOW!


Sunday night the dark clouds rolled in and made for some dramatic skies.



Monday morning I opened the drapes and voila… SNOW. Well, not exactly.

yosemiteDuring the night we thought we heard heavy rain beating down. Turned out it was hail.


Walking over to breakfast it was a tad slippery!


But it was great to see white stuff on the mountains.


And eventually snow began to fall. This is what I’d been waiting for.


I was actually glad Mother Nature had waited until the last day to present us with snow. I don’t think I would have enjoyed hiking in the snow. I’ve hiked in the snow many times in the past (although not at Yosemite) and now I’m more concerned about slipping and falling.


But it was certainly wonderful to see it dusting the trees and mountains.


I loved the contrast of the greens and browns of the trees against the whites and blues.



Seeing the Yosemite Falls with snow and ice was pretty spectacular.



Yes, we are still in California! This Chevy provided the perfect contrast of colors.


So at last my vision of snow in Yosemite was realized… dreams do come true! Yosemite is splendid under any circumstances. But with snow it is extra special.


I do hope to visit Yosemite again at some point in the future. But now I don’t have to be disappointed if the weather doesn’t cooperate.





Yosemite – part three – a walk to the Majestic


Upper Yosemite Falls

On Sunday S and I decided to walk the two miles from Yosemite Valley Lodge over to the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel).

It was another chilly sunny morning and I was beginning to doubt I would ever experience snow at Yosemite in my lifetime!


Although we enjoyed the group hike the day before, we were equally happy to have time on our own, going at our own speed and stopping to take photos.


A lot of the trees looked pretty brown and dried up. I wasn’t sure if that was the drought or the time of year.

The bare tree branches allowed for some dramatic scenes.


A rather ominous sign. Does that mean the rest of the park is full of guns?


Like Mona Lisa’s eyes, Yosemite Falls followed us along our route.

Our plan was to eat lunch at the hotel bar then take a docent tour of the Majestic Hotel.


Two of the light fixtures in the bar, one with bears, the other with pine trees.


After lunch we had a wait for the docent tour so I hunkered down for a nap in a very comfy chair in the Writing Room next to a window  with a lovely view.


View of the hotel built right up against the mountain.

yosemite yosemiteOur tour guide was very lively and passionate about his subject. He told us he had been climbing El Capitan and Half Dome since he was about four years old with his parents.


Although our accommodations at the lodge were very comfortable I wouldn’t mind staying at the Majestic (Ahwahnee) on my next visit! This last photo shows what the original decoration of the walls and ceilings looked like. You can see the areas that have been uncovered under the yellow and brown paint. At one point it was thought to be too busy so it was painted over.



Yosemite – part two – a hike and the Golden Hour


Saturday was our first full day at Yosemite National Park. One of our leaders was on crutches and announced she was leading a saunter so S and I decided that was our kind of hike! I walked outside our room in the morning to get the photo above. It was COLD out there!


This was the view from our patio. Somebody said this was Cathedral Rocks so I’m going with that!


Photographers blocking our view!

We set out on our “saunter” along the Merced River. There was no snow but it was CHILLY! My gloved hands were totally numb and I had difficulty clicking the shutter on my camera.


The top of the Yosemite Falls. One of the magnificent features of the park is all the waterfalls.

Half Dome peeking up in the center.

yosemite I honestly didn’t think I had any good photos from this trip. But when I got home and looked at them in Lightroom I realized I had a few. I think there might even be two or three that I can work on to upload to Fine Art America.

I enjoy framing a similar view in a different way.

The light coming through the trees was magical and mystical.

In the afternoon we visited the Ansel Adams Gallery. What could be finer than viewing masterful photographs by the man himself in the location he shot them in? Ah, life doesn’t get much better!


Bridal Falls… think you can figure out where the name came from!

I came back to our room and sat outside in the patio with a little vodka cocktail (well, maybe not so little…). You can see our chairs and table and the beautiful view through our picture window. My friend said when she got back to LA her body had returned but her soul was still in Yosemite. Agreed!

yosemiteIt is so important to spend time in nature and to get out of your usual routine so your brain can fly.


As evening set in we were fortunate to catch the Golden Hour. The next evening the clouds rolled in and there was no Golden Hour…

All day long and all evening long we were fascinated with the plane entrails passing overhead.

So you’ve seen day one and day two. Two more days coming up!


Yosemite – part one – just a taste



It’s been three years since I visited Yosemite National Park. Last time the temperature was in the mid 70s and everybody was in shorts and tank tops in February. So this time I wanted to see some snow. But the probability wasn’t very high.


But I decided I would have a good time regardless. Yosemite contains so much magnificent scenery it’s hard to look in any direction without being overwhelmed.


This was another Sierra Club trip sponsored by the West LA Group. We left West Los Angeles around 6:40 Friday morning.


My friend SB came along as my roommate. These shots are all as we arrived in the park late afternoon. Yosemite is about 280 miles (450km) from West LA. We made a few pit stops and a picnic stop on the way. It was a gorgeous California day. yosemite

There’s nothing like being on the road in the comfort of a motor coach. I used to love to drive around California in my own car, but no more. I prefer to leave the driving to the professionals!yosemite


I’ll be posting more photos later. We had four beautiful days, and yes, including SNOW!




John Muir and the final post from my Yosemite trip

yosemite national park

The final post from my trip to Yosemite! Click below for the full post.


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