Today was kind of an odd one. It began with a fiery sunrise and ended with a fiery sunset of an unexpected and completely different kind.
It started out early. I knew there were going to be clouds this morning, so I headed out before dawn. The position of the clouds said I go north, so north into the Shasta Valley I went. Soon I found myself watching the color creep into the sky over Mount Shasta while listening to the racing water from Little Springs. It was a beautiful morning, with clouds lit aflame by the sun before it broke the eastern horizon. Soon I moved a little further west, and let some old snags cast twisted silhouettes into the burning sky. Between the sound of the water, the colorful sky and the beautiful mountain all touched by a gentle breeze, mornings don’t get too much more satisfying than that.
The first light of day sets Little Springs aglow.
Snags make interesting shadows against the orange sky.
By the middle of the day, a stringy lenticular had formed over the mountain, but I was otherwise occupied and couldn’t dash out to capture it (I know, I know). Unfortunately it dissipated in the afternoon but there just enough clouds to head out and see if anything interesting might happen at sunset.
Too my surprise, it was not the sky that ultimately drew my eye. As I went north, I saw a pillar of smoke in a place that seemed both odd and strangely near. Heading over to check it out, I saw massive tongues of fire spreading across a brushy field. Just as I arrived there, the clouds broke and Mount Shasta was bathed in pink light as the sun was setting. The flames were disconcertingly large and looked almost out of control.
Some of the fires burning across a field. There was another large cluster of flames about 50 yards to the south.
Fortunately, I could see people moving about and bulldozers pushing things into piles. It was quickly evident that the fire was a controlled burn. I must confess, it looked like the most out of control controlled burn I have ever seen. In these days of dry forests and parched fields, it is disconcerting to happen across fire like this, at least when it is large enough to appear wild. Fortunately these were not and bulldozers are handy things to have around when working with fire.
A dramatic and fiery end to the day.
I decided to capture some image of Mount Shasta, though it was frustrating in some ways, since the hot air made it very difficult to focus on Mount Shasta. In spite of this, I got some interesting images to memorialize an unusual and fiery end to another day at the foot of the mountain.