September 22, 2006

Autumn Scouting at Rainier

Yet another weekend at Rainier, this time scouting fall color. What can I say, I love the place. It's still too early for the vine maples along the eastside, but they are starting to turn a bit. I drove down into the American River valley east of the park and Dog Lake Campground east of White Pass to check the larches, but they are hardly turned as well. I'd hoped to do some good photography today, but not only were the lighting conditions not right, but I realized when taking snapshots at Tipsoo Lake that I'd forgotten my 1Gb card. All I had was my backup 64Mb card, which gave me all of 22 photos.

Mount Rainier I tried sunset at the Backbone Ridge Viewpoint, but it just wasn't quite good enough. It's really more of a morning than a sunset photo I imagine, so I'd probably be better off camping nearby to get an early start. The clouds were interesting as they huddled around Rainier's waist, so I tried a few photos anyway since it was probably my last chance of the day -- I didn't need those 22 photos afterall -- but after only a couple of shots, a jet flew through the background and left a thin white trail through the blue sky. So much for that.

Reflection Lake, Dusk Time to call it a day. I usually head home through the northeast entrance to the park because it's a shorter trip and the gas is cheap in Enumkclaw, but there's a lot of road construction on the east side of the park right now that really slows down traffic. So I decided to head west out the Nisqually entrance instead. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and catch a chance photo of the sunset light -- and that is exactly what happened! I rounded the corner at Reflection Lakes into a scene of red clouds of the setting sun reflected in the still water. I practically swerved into the lake I pulled over so fast, and in only a few seconds I had the camera and tripod set up on the edge of the lake. I took the last of my 22 photos here as the light faded, and wished I'd had more time and capacity. After only a few brief minutes, the color was gone.

No comments: