Spring Redbud, Poppies and a Bald Eagle near Yosemite

Sunday was my second attempt this Spring to see the beautiful poppies in the Merced River Canyon, along Highway 140 just west of Yosemite.   This trip was a far more surprising adventure than I expected!  The California poppies were absolutely beautiful along the north side of the canyon near Briceburg visitor center.   The Redbud flowers were also in bloom along the river banks and much easier to get to then the poppies.   However, we spotted a BALD EAGLE sitting watching for fish in the Merced River!  What a treat to see something this spectacular in the wild!

California Poppies in the Merced River Canyon near Mariposa and Yosemite National Park California on Highway 140

The poppies are mostly on the other side of the fast moving and very wide Merced river, on really steep hills or in a place where you can’t safely stop your car as Yosemite buses are cruising by frequently.  A wide shot is an “easier” shot to capture “if” your lighting is right during the day.  The close up shots are harder to capture as there aren’t too many poppies close to the road.  You can see how they are just spreading everywhere in the canyon.  Apparently, a few years back they spread even more East due to another fire in the area.


Redbud Spring Blooms with the 1926 historic bridge in background

The redbud was in full bloom in many places all along highway 140 and easier to get to for photographs.  I really wanted to find one near the historic bridges and with much success one was in the perfect place for a few shots.

Redbud with creek, near 1926 historic bridge on highway 140, Merced river Canyon near Yosemite National Park and Mariposa California

This area had a little creek with a beautiful redbud blooms and a few other trees working nicely for my shot.  From the bridge, I was not happy with the setting so I decided to hike down, go under the bridge and balance on some rocks to get in the middle of the creek to get my shot!  It is amazing when you get down and off the beaten path that others hardly ever see that is so amazing!   Beauty at it’s best!

What is so great about this shot you say? Look closely!!!

What is so great about this shot you say?  Look closely!!!    It is a BALD EAGLE!!   He is sitting there looking for fish in the Merced river along highway 140.    I spotted the Bald Eagle as we were driving and going about 40MPH.  I guess my eyes are still good! LOL.  Here try it again…

Bald Eagle in the tree!!

Bald Eagle in the tree!!













Clearly this was an amazing day to see something so rare like a bald eagle in the wild.

Really wishing a had a more telephoto lens like maybe Canon 400!   However, I tried to use what I had in my bag.  The above shots are with my old lens the 18-135 and 18-200 lens.


Bald Eagle sitting in the tree watching for fish in the Merced River!

Amazing right?  I know my photo is not perfectly sharp, but it is the best I could do considering how far away the bird was sitting.  We watched him for about 10 minutes until he took off and flew downstream and out of sight.

Bald Eagle started to fly downstream looking for his fish...

Amazing right?

Here are a few more photographs from the day – enjoy!

Redbud blossoms near 1926 bridge, Merced River Canyon, highway 140, near Yosemite National Park and Mariposa CA


Close up of the beautiful Redbud blossoms near 1926 bridge, Merced River Canyon, highway 140, near Yosemite National Park and Mariposa CA

A huge bumble bee on a rock near the Merced River at Briceburg on highway 140. Note - you can see his eyes!!

River rock (underwater) in the Merced River near Briceburg on highway 140.

River rock along the river bank of the Merced River near Briceburg on highway 140.


Can you identify the maker of this vintage 4 x 5 camera?


Until next time… wishing you great adventures and to capturing many moments along your journey of life.


Please visit Joelle Leder Photography Studio fine art landscape collection for sale at the following places this Spring!

:: Gallery Exhibit ::
View our fine art landscape photography at Sierra Artists Gallery in Mariposa CA for the month of May 2012

:: Art Shows ::
May 5 & 6th – Mariposa Butterfly Festival, Mariposa CA
May 10 & 11 – Boutique in Manhattan Beach CA at American Martyrs Preschool for bi-annual fundraiser
June 9 – Art, Wine + Wheels Festival, Mariposa CA

:: Shop online 24/7 ::

shop online ETSY | http://joelleleder.etsy.com/
shop online – on hand inventory | album of items available now


Joelle Leder is a professional photographer since 2002 specializing in landscapes and also a wedding, events and portrait photographer (since 2007)  based in Manhattan Beach (Southern California) and Mariposa (near Yosemite National Park in Central California.)  She is an accomplished photographer as her fine art photographic images are displayed in homes, conference rooms and offices the world over, including England, Ireland, Germany, France, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and of course, the United States.

She has been published many times with her landscape and wedding images.  For the third consecutive year (2012) her landscape images have been chosen to be on the Malibu Rosenthal Estate WinerySurfrider wine bottle labels.  Her wedding and event images have been published or used in brochures, online & marketing collateral for Lawry’s Catering, Lawry’s Prime Rib Restaurant, Europa Village Winery, ISES – International Special Events Society, Festival of Brides Events, WPPI – Wedding & Portrait Photographer International, Sweet Dream Cakes and Floral Studio, Flour Floral Studio, Candee by Sandee, Wedding Showcase magazine for author Sharon Naylor, The Beach Reporter, Starline Tours of Hollywood, Kids Play Int’l & 3x Olympian Tracy Evans, personal photographer for The Hunger Games & the Orphan Actress Isabelle Fuhrman and many other celebrity headshots & red carpet events.  In 2012, a full page fashion ad for Make Me Chic Boutique in Seventeen Magazine for Back to School advertisement.

In addition to the assignments by her corporate clients and individuals for their homes, offices and publications, she has taken breathtaking images of the beautiful California Coast, Seattle, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Chicago, Charleston and other places in her travels to places such as Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Washington, North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, Japan, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.  Local places include Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Catalina, Malibu, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Westwood, Hollywood, Corona Del Mar, Balboa, Newport Beach, Big Sur, Monterey, Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, Central California Coast, Cambria, San Luis Obispo.  She also has an extensive collection including seascapes, lighthouses, flowers, waves, birds, doors, barns, etc.

From 1994 to 2000 and a Canon film camera in hand, she used to capture images for a NASCAR race car team at the events including photographs of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other drivers while at the races.

For the love of photography while helping others learn, connect, try something new or be a better photographer, Joelle has founded and teaches a photography group called LA Shoot This! Photo Group.  It is the #1 Los Angeles based photography group that meets monthly for meetings and styled shoots since 2009.

Joelle’s education helps her understand the needs of her corporate clients. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of Phoenix.  She prefers and is most comfortable using state of the art Canon camera equipment.  Joelle enjoys spending time with family and friends at the beach and mountains, traveling and living life to its fullest while going on great adventures to capture many moments along her journey of life.