YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS SF/AP) — No matter how many times he sees it, Park Ranger Jamie Richards is still in awe of Mother Nature’s fiery illumination of Yosemite National Park’s Horsetail Fall.
The annual firefall occurs every February when the angle of the sun strikes the face of El Capitan in just the right way.
“This is nature in its glory,” Richards told CBS News. “You get to be here and get to see whatever nature gives us.”
To see the natural wonder, visitors take a cold, mile-long hike in the park and hope they have timed the setting sun just right. The phenomenon doesn’t last long — about five-to-10 minutes at dusk.
“To see a special part of this creation that only takes place in a certain .. small window of time each year … makes for excitement,” photographer Doug Holck told CBS NEWS.
The angle of the sun is not the only factor that needs to fall in place. Horsetail Fall only flows in the winter or spring, when there has been enough rain and snow. You won’t see a firefall if you visit in the summer.
So it is not surprising that a feeling of camraderie sweeps over the crowd when Mother Nature begins her performance.
“When that moment happens, the place is silent,” Holck said. “You don’t hear anything except just the clicking of those shutters. It’s pretty exciting.”
If you want to catch a view for yourself this year, you had better worry. The sunset occurrence will likely be visible for another week defending on the weather.