Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fire in the Sky: Atmospheric Phenomena at Lava Beds National Monument

Back safe and sound from my field studies class in the California Cascades. I had a great group of students this time out, 20 people who were both fearless and curious, a great combination sometimes! I will eventually be blogging about our trip, once I deal of a backlog of other topics. In the meantime, a bit of atmospheric phenomena....

Our national parks and monuments are treasures for so many reasons. One reason that is not always appreciated is the fact that many parks are noted for their status as a clean air reserve. We city dwellers rarely have a chance to really enjoy the gift that nature provides in the way of colors when days begin and end.
Lava Beds National Monument is a bit of landscape on the boundary between the massive Medicine Lake Highland volcano, and the Modoc Plateau. The region is practically devoid of people, and the air is often extremely clear. In my experience the park provides some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets that I have ever seen. This weekend was no exception.
The views are incredible because the park lies on the east flank of the massive shield, and has an unobstructed view of the eastern horizon. The sky lights up very early...
There is no sleeping in on mornings like these! The light easily penetrates the nylon walls of our tent, waking us and calling us to look out the window. Then we grab for a camera.
Post a Comment