The morning light barely illuminates a lenticular over Mount Shasta.
The new year has started off with a real mixed bag of weather. A few days of rain and snow, a couple of days with some clearish skies. In other words, it’s winter. Between getting back to real life post-Christmas and getting some new projects underway, I have mostly kept indoors. However, there was enough “lenticulish” activity yesterday that I thought it might be worth heading out this morning to see what showed up over the mountain.
When I first got a clear view of the mountain, it looked like there was an impressive stack just east of the summit as well as some other disks elsewhere in the sky. I thought this might be the morning when I finally capture a really epic formation. I headed south, since that is where the best color tends to be this time of year but as the sky grew lighter two things became evident. First, the lenticular was already collapsing. Second, it was quite overcast. This can be either a great thing or miserable in terms of capturing good images of the mountain. In this case, the clouds were just a bit too low to allow good light through and I was soon confident it would not be a colorful sunrise.
In spite of this, just before the sun breached the horizon, a little color leaked through the dreary conditions and lit up just a few spots on Mount Shasta as well as giving a faint glow to the lenticular that hovered over the summit. Strangely enough, just the outer rim of a disk and the heart of the cloud near the summit were able to catch much light. For a brief moment, the remnant of the stack above the main disk also lit up as well.
The entire time the color was on the mountain, the lenticular had a wispy, ghostly appearance. It definitely had color, but the color was not strong and it lacked intensity. Still, in the softness of the weak glow and drab sky, the seen had an ethereal quality that I had to confess was pleasing, if in a something-still-missing way. Nonetheless, it was obvious that the light would be fleeting so I captured a few images before moving on my way and heading back home.
Just before I closed up my camera, I noticed a very weak glow on some snowy trees on the southwest flank of the mountain. As the sun climbed, the cloudy sky funneled the color onto the lower slopes, leaving the summit and other high points bleak. The glow was almost not worth documenting, but I did so anyway, as it is illustrative of how difficult it was for the light to fight through this morning.
The forecast for the next few days is for a continued mix of weather. Hopefully we will break out into either a sunny stretch or into some really snowy weather. Either would be fine with me at this point.