Yosemite_Plant_Life

Forest scenes, Moss and Lichen on the Taft Point, Mirror Lake and Yosemite Falls Trails,
Brewer’s Lupines, Dogwood flowers and Bull Thistle on the Mirror Lake Trail, Lupines in the
Wawona Meadows, Snow Plants on the Wawona Road and more are displayed on this page.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

Yosemite Section Index
 

Yosemite Select

Yosemite Valley
Valley Views
Yosemite Assorted
Mirror Lake
Rivers and Creeks

Waterfalls
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Rim
Glacier Point and Washburn Point
Taft Point

Yosemite Wildlife
Deer and Birds
Squirrel and Marmot

Yosemite Plant Life
Mariposa Grove
Sequoia National Park
Assorted Plant Life

Bodie Ghost Town
Mono Lake
Mariposa

A 75 image Overview of the Yosemite Portfolio

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Discovery View (Wawona Tunnel View) and Valley View
El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, and other Scenery
The exquisitely beautiful Mirror Lake in Tenaya Canyon
The Merced River, Tenaya Creek, Yosemite Creek and more

Bridalveil, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and selected images of Yosemite Falls
Detail shots, vignettes and scenic images of Yosemite’s signature waterfall

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Yosemite National Park’s two most famous rim views
Taft Point Fissures and spectacular views from 3000’ over Yosemite Valley

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Mule Deer in the Valley meadows, Hummingbirds, Steller’s Jays, etc.
Golden-Mantled Squirrels, Ground Squirrels and a Tioga Pass Marmot

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Images from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Images from nearby Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks
Lupines, Dogwood, Snow Plants, Thistle, Forest Moss and Lichen

50 images of the gold mining boom town north of Mono Lake
A highly saline lake in the Eastern Sierras with otherworldly scenery
A Cigar Store Indian, a Thunderbird Totem, and antique Farm Machinery

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Forest_Scene_Taft_Point_Trail_X6789


Forest Scene Taft Point Trail X6789
(606 KB)

A shattered Red Fir stump in the forest leading to Taft Point.

Wolf_Lichen_Taft_Point_Trail_X6774


Wolf Lichen Taft Point Trail X6774
(672 KB)

Wolf Lichen covers a Red Fir on the Taft Point Trail.

Forest_Scene_Taft_Point_Trail_X6778


Forest Scene Taft Point Trail X6778
(1297 KB)

Wolf Lichen on a fallen Red Fir and other forest foliage on the trail just above Taft Point.

Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) is a yellow-green branching fungus that grows on
the bark of conifers (living and dead), and is toxic to mammals. It was historically
used as a poison for wolves and foxes (thus the name), and was used to make a
pigment for dyes and paints by the Native Americans in areas in which it grows.
It was also used in a healing poultice, and boiled for a drink to stop bleeding.

Wolf Lichen is highly resistant to freezing and low temperatures, and remains active in
winter. It resumes photosynthesis just a few minutes after it thaws, and it generally grows
at heights on a tree above the maximum snow line, so you can easily judge how deep the
snow can get in an area by the lowest height at which Wolf Lichen grows on the trees.

More forest scenes and detail shots of Wolf Lichen are on the Taft Point page.

Moss_on_Boulder_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0396


Moss on Boulder Yosemite Falls Trail X0396
(476 KB)

Forest moss covers a boulder on the trail to Lower Yosemite Fall. Moss and lichen are widespread in Yosemite’s forests.

Moss_on_Tree_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0398


Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0398
(574 KB)

A moss-covered tree beside a split-rail fence on the trail to Lower Yosemite Fall, just beyond the Ranger’s Cabins.

Moss_on_Boulders_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0394


Moss on Boulders Yosemite Falls Trail X0394
(637 KB)

Moss_on_Tree_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0629


Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0629
(888 KB)

Boreal forest moss on boulders and at the base of a tree on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

Moss_on_Boulder_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0422


Moss on Boulder Yosemite Falls Trail X0422
(580 KB)

Detail of boreal forest moss covering a boulder on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

Moss_on_Tree_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0391


Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0391
(371 KB)

Moss_on_Tree_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0392


Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0392
(453 KB)

Detail of boreal forest moss and lichens covering a tree on the trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

Moss_on_Tree_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X0401


Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0401
(545 KB)

Forest moss on a fallen tree, backlit by diffuse sunlight on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Mossy_Rocks_Mirror_Lake_Trail_2345


Mossy Rocks Mirror Lake Trail 2345
(899 KB)

Forest moss covering a group of boulders on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Mossy_Rocks_Mirror_Lake_Trail_2344


Mossy Rocks Mirror Lake Trail 2344
(1286 KB)

Moss-covered boulders and forest litter on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Moss_Detail_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0269


Moss Detail Mirror Lake Trail X0269
(588 KB)

Forest moss covering a boulder on the Mirror Lake Trail.

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Moss Detail Mirror Lake Trail X0269c
(763 KB)

A detail crop from the upper right center of the master image shows the feathery fronds typical of this type of forest moss.

Moss_on_Sequoia_Mariposa_Grove_X0499


Moss on Sequoia Mariposa Grove X0499
(375 KB)

A moss-covered Giant Sequoia in the Mariposa Grove.

Moss_on_Sequoia_Mariposa_Grove_X0500c


Moss on Sequoia Mariposa Grove X0500c
(607 KB)

This detail crop, showing an area at the bottom center of the image at left, displays the character of another type of moss.

Pine_Needles_Mirror_Lake_Trail_2340


Pine Needles Mirror Lake Trail 2340
(536 KB)

Pine needles on the Mirror Lake Trail, shot on an overcast day in March.

Red_Fir_Roots_Mirror_Lake_Trail_1897


Red Fir Roots Mirror Lake Trail 1897
(477 KB)

Red Fir roots from a fallen tree on the Mirror Lake Trail.

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Sulphur Shelf Fungus Mirror Lake Trail 2349
(637 KB)

Sulphur Shelf Fungus on a fallen Red Fir, Mirror Lake Trail.

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Merced River Autumn Foliage X6386
(1143 KB)

Autumn foliage and forest litter beside a charred stump near the Merced River in October.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Brewers_Lupine_Mirror_Lake_Trail_4002


Brewer’s Lupine Mirror Lake Trail 4002
(407 KB)

Brewer’s Lupine on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Brewers_Lupine_Mirror_Lake_Trail_4019


Brewer’s Lupine Mirror Lake Trail 4019
(316 KB)

Brewer’s Lupine is a member of the Pea family.

Brewers_Lupine_Carpenter_Ant_4014


Brewer’s Lupine Carpenter Ant 4014
(340 KB)

A large (nearly one inch long) Carpenter Ant exploring a Brewer’s Lupine on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Brewers_Lupine_Carpenter_Ant_4014c


Brewer’s Lupine Carpenter Ant 4014c
(408 KB)

Carpenter Ants are all over Yosemite, building nests in damp fallen trees. They are one of many ant species in the park, feeding on bugs and spiders and occasionally waging battles against rival colonies that can last for days.

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Brewer’s Lupine Carpenter Ant 4009-4013c
(479 KB)

A large, black Carpenter Ant wandering around a Brewer’s Lupine on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Brewers_Lupines_Bumblebee_3589


Brewer’s Lupines Bumblebee 3589
(415 KB)

A Yellow-Faced Bumblebee servicing some Brewer’s Lupines on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Brewer’s Lupine was named for William Henry Brewer, who was the
Chief Botanist of the California Geological Survey between 1860-64.
His pioneering work influenced the future of surveying, and his results
were a spur for the creation of the United States Geological Survey.

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Brewer’s Lupines Mirror Lake Trail 3583
(430 KB)

Brewers_Lupines_Mirror_Lake_Trail_3586


Brewer’s Lupines Mirror Lake Trail 3586
(365 KB)

A field of Brewer’s Lupines on the Mirror Lake Trail, just above the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Bull_Thistle_Mirror_Lake_Trail_3963


Bull Thistle Mirror Lake Trail 3963
(375 KB)

Bull Thistle on the Mirror Lake Trail. Listed as an invasive plant, the Bull Thistle is
native to Europe and was imported to California in the 1860s. It has virtually taken
over the Stoneman, Ahwahnee and Cook’s Meadows in Yosemite National Park.
These images were taken at the eastern edge of Ahwahnee Meadow in spring.

Bull_Thistle_Skipper_Mirror_Lake_Trail_3965


Bull Thistle Skipper Mirror Lake Trail 3965
(329 KB)

A Skipper butterfly feeding on a Bull Thistle.

Bull_Thistle_Skipper_Mirror_Lake_Trail_3968


Bull Thistle Skipper Mirror Lake Trail 3968
(331 KB)

This is a Grass Skipper (Hesperiinae).

Bull_Thistle_Skipper_Mirror_Lake_Trail_3969c


Bull Thistle Skipper Mirror Lake Trail 3969c
(497 KB)

A Grass Skipper feeds on a Bull Thistle by the Mirror Lake Trail in Ahwahnee Meadow.

There are over 2000 species of Grass Skippers, and about 3500 species of skippers overall.
Many species look identical, and cannot be identified in the field, even by experts. It often requires
dissection and microscopic examination of specific structures of their genitalia to tell them apart.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Wawona_Lupines_X0753


Wawona Lupines X0753
(439 KB)

Lupines (Lupinus) in a Wawona Meadow.

Wawona_Lupines_X0754


Wawona Lupines X0754
(398 KB)

These are Gray’s Lupine (Lupinus grayi).

Wawona_Lupines_X0754c


Wawona Lupines X0754c
(393 KB)

Gray’s Lupine (or Sierra Lupine) was named for Asa Gray, the most important American botanist of the 19th century.

Wawona_Lupines_X0756c


Wawona Lupines X0756c
(355 KB)

Gray’s Lupine was first identified from samples he collected in meadows in Wawona during expeditions in the 1870s.

Wawona_Lupines_X0762


Wawona Lupines X0762
(1056 KB)

Gray’s Lupine surrounds a boulder in a meadow in Wawona, Yosemite National Park.

Wawona_Lupines_X0765


Wawona Lupines X0765
(566 KB)

Gray’s Lupine (Lupinus grayi) in a Wawona meadow.

Gray’s Lupine (Sierra Lupine) have mostly purple or blue flowers with a reddish tip.

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Wawona Lupines X0767
(787 KB)

Sierra Lupine (Gray’s Lupine) surrounding a boulder in a meadow in Wawona.

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New Growth Wawona Road X0459
(363 KB)

New growth on the Wawona Road in spring.

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Snow Plant and Sequoia Cone X2362c
(614 KB)

A Snow Plant (Sarcodes) erupts from the forest floor beside
a boulder in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. A seed cone
of the Giant Sequoia stands atop the boulder beyond the Snow Plant.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Snow_Plants_3539


Snow Plants 3539
(457 KB)

Two Snow Plants (Sarcodes) erupt from the forest floor beside the Wawona Road in spring.
The Snow Plant, or Snow Flower (Sarcodes sanguinea) is a parasitic plant in the Heath family.
It does not photosynthesize to acquire nutrients, but instead taps into the network of forest fungus
to gain nutrients from the fungus, which supply nutrients to forest plants in exchange for fixed carbon.
The scarlet red flowering parts of the plant emerge in spring, usually in late May in the higher elevations.

These two Snow Plants are already producing flowers, even though the plants are still quite small.

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Snow Plants X0891
(526 KB)

Snow Plants by the Wawona Road in Spring.
The underground portions of a Snow Plant are white.

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Snow Plant X0892
(449 KB)

A Snow Plant bursting from the forest floor by the Wawona Road. The emerging flowers are visible in the upper center.

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Snow Plant X0237
(392 KB)

A newly emergent Snow Plant by the Wawona Road.

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Snow Plant X0432
(486 KB)

The same Snow Plant, taken on the following day.

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Snow Plant Detail X0244
(449 KB)

Crown detail of a newly emergent Snow Plant.

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Snow Plant Detail X0451
(424 KB)

Close detail of the crown of a Snow Plant.

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Snow Plant Crown Detail X0443c
(476 KB)

Detail of the overlapping scarlet crown leaves of a Snow Plant, newly emergent from the forest floor.

Because the Snow Plant derives its nutrition from fungi, it is known as a mycotrophic plant. They are
found in moist conifer forests of California, Nevada and Oregon, emerging from the leaf litter in spring.
The fungi live in symbiosis with the conifers, bringing nutrients to the conifers in exchange for products
of photosynthesis provided by the conifers, and it is these photosynthetic products that Snow Plants
leach from the fungi. The scarlet portion that is visible is the flower stalk of the Snow Plant. The root
is the vegetative part of the plant. Snow Plants typically grow to about 12 inches, but occasionally
they can grow as large as 21”. Further below is a 21” giant of the species taken near Oakhurst.

Snow_Plant_Detail_X0441c


Snow Plant Detail X0441c
(476 KB)

Detail of the ciliate edges of leaves at the crown of a newly emergent Snow Plant (closer detail at right).

Snow_Plant_Detail_X0246c


Snow Plant Detail X0246c
(837 KB)

A closeup showing detail of the ciliate edges of leaves on a newly emergent Snow Plant (a highly detailed image).

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Snow Plant Detail 3545
(376 KB)

Snow_Plant_Detail_3548


Snow Plant Detail 3548
(324 KB)

Detail of closed and open flowers of the Snow Plant. The bell-shaped flowers
have five fused petals and contain the stamens (with pollen) and the white ovary
which produces the tiny dark brown seeds which drop into the forest litter from the
flowers, which point outwards for a short time, then downwards once they mature.

Snow_Plant_X0779


Snow Plant X0779
(437 KB)

A veritable giant of the Snow Plant world, this 21” monster was found beside a
nondescript side street off the Wawona Road above Oakhurst, just outside Yosemite.
This was more than twice the size of any Snow Plant I have ever seen. You can see that
the flowers of this plant are turning downwards for seed dispersal as the plant matures.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0728


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0728
(345 KB)

Pacific Dogwood beside the Mirror Lake Trail,  in the  forest near Tenaya Creek early on a spring morning.

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0733


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0733
(228 KB)

These three images of Dogwood were taken at apertures of f/2.8, f/2.0 and f/1.4 respectively (for different depth of field).

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0732


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0732
(299 KB)

Pacific Dogwood in the forest beside the Mirror Lake Trail near Tenaya Creek early on a
spring morning. Taken at 85mm, f/1.4 for a smooth background and shallow depth of field.

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_HS9248


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail HS9248
(358 KB)

A Pacific Dogwood blossom. The tiny flowers are clustered in the center of the blossom surrounded by large white bracts.

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Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X2256
(292 KB)

The large white bracts surrounding the flowering head of Dogwood blossoms are not petals, but modified leaves.

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0851


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0851
(354 KB)

Pacific Dogwood blossoms beside the Mirror Lake Trail, early on a spring morning.
This image was taken with a short telephoto (85mm) at f/2.8 for medium depth of field.

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0885


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0885
(406 KB)

Pacific Dogwood on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Most of the Pacific Dogwood images on this page were taken on the way up to Tenaya Creek and Mirror Lake between 8:00 and 8:30 AM, as the purpose was to have a soft, even light on the blossoms. These two images were taken on the way back down at 10 AM when the flowers were lit by direct sunlight.

Achieving an accurate exposure on yellow or white flowers in direct sunlight can be challenging, especially with a very dark forest background. The tendency is to radically overexpose the flowers and achieve a good exposure for the background. A scene like these Dogwood images offers good practice in meter evaluation and negative exposure compensation.

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Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0886
(390 KB)

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X2151


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X2151
(399 KB)

A Pacific Dogwood blossom and leaves beside the Mirror Lake Trail, above Lower Tenaya Creek.

This was taken closeup with a 105mm macro lens, set at f/16 to increase the depth of the focused field.

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Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X2213
(270 KB)

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X2252


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X2252
(276 KB)

Two isolation shots of a Pacific Dogwood blossom and leaves. These shots were taken
with the same 105mm macro lens at f/3 and f/4 respectively for a shallower depth of field.

Dogwood_Tenaya_Creek_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X2247


Dogwood Tenaya Creek Mirror Lake Trail X2247
(605 KB)

Pacific Dogwood blossoms and leaves beside the Mirror Lake Trail over Lower Tenaya Creek.

In this case, the intention was to present the Dogwood in the context of the surrounding environment.
A wide angle lens was used (35mm, f/8) and the shot was taken from a distance for greater depth of field.

Mirror Lake and Lower Tenaya Creek can be seen on the Mirror Lake and Rivers and Creeks pages.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Mariposa_Grove


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Mariposa Grove page

SequoiaNP


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Sequoia National Park page

Yosemite_Select


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Select page

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