Thin, swift-moving waves indicate changing weather systems.
My two most favorite sounds are running water over rocks (preferably slabs of granite) and the lonely wind early in the morning high in the mountains. The former naturally comes from my many trips to the Sierra when I was young. Of the latter, the first time I remember that wind really resonating me was early in the morning near Apache Springs at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, when I was a Boy Scout. Ever since then, I have wanted to get up early and sit somewhere with a great view and let the wind blow around me.
This morning was very much like that experience back in Philmont. I have been in a real rut lately, only photographing Mount Shasta from 3 easy to get to places near my house. I have been neglecting some of my other preferred locations and all of my less-than-easy-to-get-to spots. This morning I sought to change that and got up early, while it was still very dark. I headed out to one of my less-frequented locations and set my self up to watch the sunrise light on Mount Shasta. The day before had been gorgeous and there was not a cloud in the sky. The same held true when I first headed out this morning. Though there had been almost no clouds when I arrived, frustratingly, the clouds quickly rolled in and partially obscured my view, right when the mountain was really lighting up. I got a few shots of color on Mount Shasta, but what really caught my eye was a wave-like cloud that kept forming and reforming.
The light having faded, I head back toward home. I stopped to admire the fantastic clouds and color on the Castle Crags, as well as the beautiful conditions above the Trinity Divide. The Little Castle Lake area had some particularly awesome cloud waves overhead. There even appeared to be a small lenticular forming above Mount Eddy. It was a striking, beautiful morning. However, the spectacle was far from over.
After taking a few shots of the aforementioned peaks, I headed home. As I did, I noticed the wave I had seen early had grown and turned into a series of fast-flying clouds that were racing past Mount Shasta. The wispy wave grew as it moved until a stunning complex of wavy clouds began to encroach on Mount Shasta. It was a magnificent sight, and a great way to cap off a beautiful morning. Of course, as is so often the case, this kind of cloud activity on Mount Shasta is often a harbinger of bad weather. Right now, the forecast is calling for 2 solid weeks of rain and snow. Come on spring!
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