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regnaD kciN

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Maple Valley, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 25,204

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Smoky Mountain

This is probably going to stand as my "photo of the summer"...unfortunately.

Putting it bluntly, this has been a rotten year for photography here in the Northwest. A warm, dry winter meant no chance for snow-covered landscapes. Worse, it was followed by an unusually-hot, dry summer. (For those of you ready to invoke global warming, it should be noted that the weather this summer, caused mainly by unstable upper-atmosphere patterns, was actually far hotter than could be explained by the measurable effects of climate change.) While, normally, mid-to-late August is prime wildflower season on Mount Rainier, this year, the bloom had hit peak well before July 4th. Brown has replaced green throughout the Puget Sound region, with "Stage II" water conservation measures in place even in legendarily-rainy Seattle.

The only thing we haven't had a shortage of here in Washington this summer have been over-90-degree days (breaking the all-time record, including a period of close to two weeks straight) and...wildfires.

On Sunday, I went up to the Tipsoo Lakes on Chinook Pass, a location I've photographed often before. (I'm sure you've all seen photos of mine posted here.) Normally, at this location, Mount Rainier looks close enough to touch. On Sunday, it was only a ghost on the horizon.

Note that the smoke blanketing the scene is coming from fires over two hundred miles away, almost half-way across the state.

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