Nature does a fine job at making her own Christmas tree, don’t you think? I photographed this lovely, snow-frosted evergreen along the side of the road in Mount Rainier National Park.
And, since it’s Fun Fact Friday as well as Christmas Day, here’s a little bit of Mount Rainier tree trivia for you: The trees in this park extend all the way up to over 6,000 feet along the mountain flanks (over 1,800 meters, more or less). Forests cover approximately 58% of this national park. And most of the trees here are evergreen conifers, meaning they have needles and they keep their needles on their branches year-round.
If you’re thinking of getting out in the parks this winter with mask, hand sanitizer, and camera in hand, then you’ll want to read my annual winter photo column published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler. It might be a bit redundant if you read last year’s photo column, but a little winter photography refresher never hurts, right?
Happy first day of winter! Is it snowing where you are? It’s raining here and going to be 55 degrees, which is unusually warm for my part of Washington state this time of year. Feels odd. It’s supposed to start getting chillier tomorrow.
The shot above was captured 3 years ago, in January, along Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I was trying out new snowshoes (and having a devil of a time with the straps), and of course lugging a loaded camera pack with me, so I ultimately did not get too very far. The view, nonetheless, was pretty nice. There were a few cross-country skiers who zipped on past me that morning, but overall, not many others venturing outside, which was just fine by me.
Even though it’s a Monday, I hope your first day of winter is a good one.
It’s a gray, rainy, cold day here in my part of central Washington. So, I thought I’d post a black and white image, courtesy of a freezing winter’s day in Glacier National Park. Some landscapes were made for monochrome, like this view of the mountains from the icy shoreline of Lake McDonald.
May the day find you exploring someplace beautiful, camera in hand.
My friend and I would like to wish you all a Happy Winter Solstice. The morning after having had fun playing in the powdery snow the previous day, I woke and the weather was warmer and the snow was wet enough (because it was melting, to some extent) for me to very quickly roll together a lovely little snowlady. I didn’t really have enough time to spend with the details – the mouth and nose are wrapped chocolate candy kisses, and the – er – anatomical details are a couple of baubles I took from the Christmas tree. I let her borrow one of my hats. Because the weather kept getting warmer, the candy kisses kept falling out. The tripod was set up and I used my wireless remote. I’d get a photo and then realize her nose was on the ground, or part of her little smile had fallen, so I’d have to get another shot or two. And then, I noticed she was leaning, like the Tower of Pisa. It got worse as the day grew warmer. By the afternoon, with a temperature of 58 degrees F, there was nothing left of my friend except a couple of small piles of slush. Ah well, we had fun in the snow for a little bit and I can say I was able to make my snowman – er – snowlady.
Old Faithful during a summer sunrise, Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful during a chilly, autumn sunrise, Yellowstone National Park
The lower falls of the Yellowstone River on an overcast, snowy day, Yellowstone National Park
The lower falls of the Yellowstone River during a freezing autumn sunrise, Yellowstone National Park
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll re-mention it in this post. It’s a great idea to take your camera and revisit a favorite site of yours during different seasons, times of day, and weather conditions. You’ll be surprised at how different your composition can look.
I cannot drive past Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park without stopping. No matter what. And, in the morning, it can be difficult to photograph, unless you are right there for those all-too-short moments of sunrise. After sunrise, the colors on the mountain vanish and the snow on the mountain becomes blown out. Sunsets are better times to photograph this place, but I’m never around during that time and during the summer, sunset occurs quite late at night, when I have usually driven back home. Someday, I’ll stay to capture the sunset, as I’ve seen beautiful images captured during that time.
Snow still lingers around Tipsoo Lake, and I was glad I took along my snowshoes when I visited the park a week ago. I got my morning exercise snowshoeing around the lake.
What are your plans for this Memorial Day weekend? My plans are to stay at home and work on another article for the National Parks Traveler. My nice little 3-day trip was last week, before the hordes ascended upon Mount Rainier National Park. This past Thursday, while grocery shopping at the local Fred Meyer, I drove past the Fred Meyer gas station and saw all sorts of RVs lined up for gasoline. Some of them even towed boats behind them. All were getting ready for their trips out into Nature. I will admit, the nice thing about living in central Washington is that I’m so close to so many beautiful places for R&R.
This shot was taken after the sun had risen a bit above the horizon. Mount Rainier behind me was still hidden by the clouds, so I concentrated my camera lens on the Tatoosh Mountains in front of me, in the Paradise area. At the time I captured this shot, there was only one other person out there some distance away – another photographer using his telephoto lens. Getting out in the early morning is a great way to start a day of photography, because most people are not yet up, so it feels like you have the entire place to yourself.
For those of you who celebrate Memorial Day (mainly the U.S., I guess), have a safe and enjoyable 3-day weekend.
The National Parks Traveler has published my Feature Story of the Paradise Inn Annex renovation. If you are planning a trip to Mount Rainier National Park and want to stay at the Inn, then check out this story to read about the amazing undertaking to renovate this historic Annex. To read the story, click on the image above.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org