I saw a similar image to this one on Twitter yesterday when someone posted it there - and found it fascinating. This is a phenomenon known as Horsetail Firefall and it can only be seen during the last two weeks of February in Yosemite National Park. And only if the conditions are right. First of all you need the water, which at this time of the year can still be frozen. There are also years when there's simply no water as it's too dry.
Then you also need sunlight. The sky needs to be clear and the setting sun needs to be in the right position for its golden glow to hit the falling water.
And obviously the photographer needs to be there at the right time in the right place.
Absolutely fascinating. And I didn't know about that until I read what others had to say about it on Flickr. When you search for 'horsetail firefall' there you can also see how others have approached the same phenomenon.
I think I know when I'm going next February.
Image: Horsetail Firefall© Daleberts via Flickr, used under CC licence