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As the Yosemite Valley narrows and enters the Merced River canyon the terrain transforms and the river changes from following a slow moving peaceful meandering path to one that is quick, turbulent and tumultuous. In this transition zone, before the Merced starts its drop, the last few remaining Dogwood and Big Leaf Maples of the Valley line its banks. Calm for a time while the river runs low, they change color and bask in the cool light that falls in from above. Even though the banks of the Merced will swell and reach the base of these trees during the spring runoff, they continue to benefit from its cold alpine waters year in and year out nestled along its rugged banks grateful for what the river brings them. Would that we could learn from trees how to be grateful for what we have pass by our feet, be it peaceful or turbulent.

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