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Cloaked in White (Mt. Rainier, Washington)

 

Cloaked in White -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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Washington's Mount Rainier National Park is an area where the extraordinary becomes commonplace.  When one climbs above the forests into the open, the glory of the mountain combines with the magnificent beauty of the plants that carpet its meadows.  Sometimes there is almost too much to take in.  I came upon this scene during a backpack trip with a friend in 2001, but at the time clouds shrouded the mountain and valley.  The flowers were in the right spot for a wonderful picture, though.  With around three hours left before sunset, we decided to wait and see if the weather would improve.  

I set up a 4x5 camera to be ready for what might be a brief chance at a gap in the clouds.  Miraculously, they parted, leaving gossamer filaments in the sky as a backdrop.  The sun gently lit up the lilies; they glowed with a light perfectly filtered by Nature.  The wind calmed.  I couldn't ask for anything more.  Everything was cloaked in white, with cloud, flower, and snow lending their own interpretation of the setting sun.  

This photograph is one of my proudest accomplishments.  Not so much for the technical challenges in making it, but because it shows what can happen by being in the right place at the right time, often the result of a combination of intuition, careful planning, and the luck of a good flower year.  It is a dream come true for my life as a photographer.  

The flowers are Avalanche Lilies (Erythronium montanum).   They grow throughout the Cascades range of the Pacific Northwest, but are especially plentiful in the park.  These flowers are also found in the photos Avalanche Lilies and Individuality.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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