If I was told that I could only photograph Mt. Rainier, I don’t think I’d ever run out of compositions…as long as I remained inspired. The mountain is so gorgeous and so very different from each side. The glaciers that have chiseled it for thousands of years are in themselves weathered and full of character, like aged and beautiful faces.
During this excursion we were poking around the Sunrise side of the mountain (north-eastern section of the park) when I became aware of the dappled light on the massive glaciers created by slowly floating clouds. Look at the furrowed crevasses, how much character they add. I can just get lost in the details.
There wasn’t much color in this scene, just a little blue here and there, so I made the decision to make it into black and white. I thought that it would make the image’s complexities simpler, allowing the viewer to focus on the rawness of this ancient landscape.
Glacial fields on Mt. Rainier | Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
This was quite a morning. We arrived around midnight, enjoyed the mountain for a spell under millions of stars of the Milky Way before we crawled in the back of the truck and slept a few hours until the alarm rang around 5 am. Looking out I was a bit disappointed that the whole landscape was in thick fog, and I thought that there was little chance of any dramatic light happening. Nevertheless, I decided to look for an interesting foreground, just in case. It was warm, very quiet, and the aroma of the tiny lupine was simply deliciously intoxicating.
As soon as I set up, the fog lifted and exposed this magnificent landscape…enough time to make one composition. Just as quickly as it dissolved, the fog returned and once again the landscape was plunged into silence.
Soon after the silence was broken by a spectacular and chilling song of a pack of coyotes that must have been roaming within a couple hundred feet. I felt extremely blessed. It is one of those memories that I will always cherish.
Mount St. Helens rising from morning fog | Mount St. Helens National Monument, WA
After a couple more hours of sleep, a beautiful warm blue sky day greeted us. We cooked up breakfast with this glorious view of the mountain and later descended a bit south into the forests to roam about Lewis River. But that’s another story….
There are always new discoveries to be made, even if we know a place by heart. I don’t remember much else from this particular trip to Mt. Rainier National Park except walking a narrow and overgrown path through a forest of subalpine firs to find a beautiful setting. A quiet landscape of a forest pond surrounded by firs and its shores sprinkled by gorgeous blooming lupine.
Soft sunlight filtered through the trees to add a bit of a sparkle to the scene. The air was still and filled with aromas of summer forest and flowers, sweetened by the sunshine.
I have returned to this spot many times over the years, like visiting an old friend, but it has never been quite as glorious as this time. But I have missed the last couple of years…could it have been so breathtaking then? Perhaps this year God will paint it even more beautiful….
Quiet forest pond graced by lupine and sunshine | Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
We’re experiencing a little heat wave in the Seattle area with temps in the 90s. That’s not really bad and I’m not complaining but when so much of the year is gloomy and cool it is definitely a bit of a shock to go to these extremes. With this heat my thoughts are taking me to mountain meadows. By now the flowers should be nicely blooming and gracing the meadows with their beauty and filling the air with just an amazing and delicious aroma.
It has been several years since I witnessed such a gorgeous display and I’m hoping to get out this season. I’ve definitely missed it.
This photograph was made in the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier National Park a few summers ago. The display of pink monkeyflowers was simply stunning! I made this composition in the early evening along a quiet little creek. I really like a bit of the blue cast on the rocks coming from the blue sky and the glorious “island” of pink monkeyflowers in the foreground. A sprinkling of the yellow mountain monkeyflowers made the whole scene even more attractive.
How I wish I could be standing there in this small sea of lovely flowers and be making compositions….