Snow in Yosemite Valley is always a special treat. The snow line in the Central Sierra is at about 6500 feet. Below that, snow is not persistent, and only sticks around during cold weather patterns. A typical winter storm in Yosemite starts with rain. Just around sunset, as the heat of the sun is lost, the temperature flirts with that magic 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and large, wet flakes start to fall. Depending on the storm, it can collect fast, a inch or more per hour is not uncommon, and leads to the heavily laden branches you see in this photo. Then sometime during the night, the front passes and clear skies reveal the gems of the milky way glittering brightly on a fresh blanket of pure white. Add a full moon and it gets even better. The silence, the beauty, and majesty are like few things you’ll experience. Days like this are rare, and each one needs to be savored.