Yosemite 'moonbows'

On a clear day in California, you can see for miles across the Central Valley from the Sierra on the east to the coastal range on the west.

And on a clear night in Yosemite National Park, you can see a rainbow.

At night. Near both the upper and the lower falls. With the dark blue velvety, star-studded sky above, and lots of watery mist below ...

Yet only for a few hours of a very few nights during the full moon in springtime and sometimes early summer, will a bow appear in the moonlight.

Often referred to as a lunar rainbow or white rainbow, in the early 1900s John Muir wrote about the "elusive, ethereal moonbow" in his book, "The Yosemite":

"This grand arc of color, glowing in mild, shapely beauty in so weird and huge a chamber of night shadows, and amid the rush and roar and tumultuous dashing of this thunder-voiced fall, is one of the most impressive and most cheering of all the blessed mountain evangels."

For about three years now, Brent Gilstrap has been photographing moonbows in Yosemite.

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