Mt. Rainier is known for creating its own weather patterns. Because of it’s massive size it can block the flow of moist maritime air coming in from the Pacific Ocean and create its own clouds. It’s common to see beautiful Lenticular clouds form on top of Rainier.
Willie and I had come to Mt. Rainier to see if we could find carpets and carpets of flowers. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the wildflowers decided to slumber and we only found patches of flowers. One afternoon we spent a few hours walking all over the Paradise Valley region, scouting for whatever fields of flowers we could find.
We came upon this patch of Lupines above Myrtle Falls and knew this would be a good spot for either sunrise or sunset, provided clouds rolled in. A few minutes earlier and all the clouds were in the opposite direction, south-west towards the Tatoosh Range, but those quickly disappeared. About the same time Mt. Rainier kicked on its weather-making machine and before we knew it, beautiful clouds had formed overhead, catching the setting sun and streaking in a giant light ray with beautiful oranges, then pinks and purples, before disappearing. We were so glad we had come here for an unexpected nice sunset!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
20mm, f/14, 1/10 sec, ISO 100