Hard-to-Catch Moments

Here are some shots from the side of our mountain. These are things that either disappear before you can grab a camera, or you’ve seen them a hundred times before, and you need the phenomenon to be … just … a … little … bit … more clearly defined before it’s worth going to the effort to make a photo.

These shots are those you show off and think to yourself, “Isn’t God fantastic!”

The Snow Line

First up, I’ve said for years that we live RIGHT on the snow line. When you look up at the mountains, and there’s a fresh snow, you see a definite line where it ends. Well, that’s our altitude, and this shot shows it nicely. Wheaton the Golden Retriever and I are returning from the end of the lane with the paper, probably on a Saturday morning (because it’s light). This was one of those days when I’d decided to take a camera along, and here is the result.

The line isn’t a result of wind action, because the storm that brought us this little bit of snow came from the right side of the frame. Out of frame to the right, a little farther away in the trees, the line continues.

The Snow Line

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Crystallized Snow

Another shot where you’re just in the right place at the right time. We see crystallized snow all the time, but the stuff is really fragile – it’s just on the verge of melting, but hasn’t done so yet. For a few moments, it retains the structure of snow, but the flakes of powder snow clump together in little crystals.

Crystallized snow

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Rainbows in the River of Clouds

This is an effect you only get during one time of the year, so there are only a few days you might see it, and the weather has to be just right for it to happen.

And then you have to have the presence of mind to run back into the house and grab the closest camera.

The sun swings far to the South-of-East during winter solstice; its dawning rays gently warm the bitterly cold ravine just enough to bring up some clouds, but it is so cold that they do not rise very far. Instead, they huddle and thicken at lower altitude. For a few precious moments the sun is at exactly the right angle to cause the clouds to reflect and refract its light within their cold, dense mass. The air is dead-calm, unusual for where we live, making your breath gather about your face in steam before it dissipates.

This gives the sharp line necessary to the cloud-tops so that they will gather the light and take it for a dance through the ravine.

Rainbows in the River of Clouds

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Isn’t God amazing?

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