Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Archive photo of the day: Autumn in Paradise

What a difference a month makes.

I took this photo in October in 2008, as Mount Rainier enjoyed its first dusting of snow on the upper ridges, and the huckleberries and heathers in the subalpine meadows were turning orange and crimson in the frosty mornings. By November, these same meadows are buried under five feet of rapidly accumulating snow, and the smaller trees are already beginning to disappear. They'll remain buried, in a typical year, for seven months, and in some years eight. But first, they add a beautiful evergreen color to the vivid landscape, below the great Mountain floating on its misty cloud of fog.

This is usually a morning image, by the way, the Mountain making an appearance as the clouds burn off, but in this case it was late afternoon, as you can tell by the shadows, before the fog finally cleared, giving the landscape a warmer and softer hue than you'd see at sunrise.

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