Fresh Feelings For Your Eyeballz: Fall Colors In Yosemite

Photography by Orlando Soria and Your Mom. Just Kidding His Mom.

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Dear Autumn,

There’s something about you that makes me miss Yosemite. Growing up, fall was my favorite time of the year because it meant all the obnoxious summertime tourists were finally gone. Finally, I could ride my bike to the store without having to weave through sweaty tourists in American flag t-shirts eating ice cream and feeding Doritos to the animals.

Fall is a magical time in Yosemite for other, more obvious reasons. Mainly that it’s disgustingly gorgeous and so romantic you’ll want to gouge your eyes out with a pumpkin stem. This is the first year since I moved back to California seven years ago that I haven’t made it back to the park to ogle the fall colors, smell the rained-on leaves, and feel the chilly pre-winter air against my trembling Angela Chase chin as I Clair Danes ugly cry about how pretty everything is.

I miss autumn. Terribly. There are millions and millions and millions of things to love about life in Los Angeles, but for me our year round summer is not one of them. Last week, as I was buried in work in my apartment, when something very disturbing happened. A sweat droplet streamed down my forehead. “WHY AM I SWEATING IN NOVEMBER?” I screamed at the ceiling, my anguish making me even sweatier.

There’s a lot to be said for LA weather, and I’m definitely not complaining that I get to go outside almost all year round without dying of hypothermia, but summer this year has already lasted for 9 months, and I’m ready to move on (side note: it’s finally deliciously cold today and it’s making life amazing and all I want to do is dance around holding a cup of apple cider whilst wearing a scarf).

Starving for some fall color, I dove into my photo archives, past pictures of old friends and experiences I miss, to find some photographs I took a few years back on one of my autumn trips to Yosemite. If you, like me, are in a place that is starving you of fall color and weather, take some time to ogle these and pretend it’s not 100 degrees outside.

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The house I grew up in is dwarfed by giant oak trees, which turn bright yellow in October and make everything feel brighter and more exciting.

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There’s a maple tree in Yosemite that has become kind of an icon. Mainly because it’s the brightest tree in the park and you can spot it from a mile away. Pretty sure it’s not native but it’s been there for so long it’s kind of become one.

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The grasses in Yosemite’s meadows all turn gold in the late summer. That color of ochre rocks my world.

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Deer are basically large rats and they used to terrorize me as I tried to get into my car to drive to high school, so to be honest I’ve never liked them. But I find myself missing them now that the only place I can see them is in Griffith Park, where they all probably have rabies and are dying to bite my hands off (side note: all deer want to bite your hands off).

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Oh look some rocks.

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JUST KIDDING IT’S TOTALLY DEER PEEPING OUT FROM BEHIND SOME ROCKS.

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I miss rainstorms. And not being constantly terrified that we are all going to die  as skeletons burning in the sun because of the Californian drought.

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The Yosemite Valley School, where I went, has a camouflaged playground that blends into the trees.

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Another deer, just eating some leaves, fantasizing about biting your hands off.

Ahhhh, the fresh feelings of fall. I already feel so much better after peeping these pics. DO YOU?

Love,
Orlando

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