As 2021 runs down to the last few moments, I am looking back and thinking about the year that has gone by. It has been a bittersweet year, filled with fun, fires and lots of challenges. Despite the vicissitudes and changes that have come for my family, I am looking back on it and recognize that, if nothing else, it certainly has been among the most memorable of my life. Not only this, but late developments have set 2022 up to be an equally memorable one, mostly in a good way. We shall see.
Whenever possible, I try to get out capture the last sunrise or sunset (or both) of the year. This year I was able to capture both. Considering the weather, I was satisfied to be able to do this.
The sunrise almost didn’t happen, since from the north, west and southeast, Mount Shasta was obscured by clouds. However, heading up on the Ski Park Highway provided access to a couple of spots where the mountain was visible. A large, deep cloud filled the Mud Creek Basin, blocking the view of much of the mountain. However, the western flanks, especially Sargents, Green Butte and Casaval Ridges, were all catching light from the rising sun. Much of the year these ridges get little light but the winter sun’s position illuminates them wonderfully.
Heading back home, I was driving through town and thought that Black Butte and Spring Hill needed to be captured in an image since they were lit up with beautifully warm morning light. To my surprise, when I got to where I intended to photograph them, a rainbow had appeared! In no way had I expected this but couldn’t get a shot fast enough, hoping the rainbow would disappear before I could get my camera set up. Fortunately this did not happen and I was able to get a beautiful shot of the entire scene.
Mount Shasta was covered in clouds through the rest of the day, with flurries of snow falling sporadically. I reckoned this would be one of those years when I was not able to capture an image of the sunset. However, as my son and I ran to the grocery store, the mountain came out of the clouds and the upper flanks were brightly lit with alpenglow. Massive snow banners flew off Sargents Ridge, adding some pink drama to the spectacle.
As we headed home, the sun was long set but Mount Shasta was well lit in the afterglow. I had to stop and capture one more shot before giving up for the rest of the year. Snow banners were still dancing on the ridges but stars were coming out. I love this mountain and I never tire of looking at it. I am grateful for every opportunity.
I hope this finds everyone of my readers well and I wish all a Happy New Year!