Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ocean of Clouds

The Willapa Hills rise over the fog-drowned
Cowlitz Valley like a distant continent.

Normally you look up at the clouds, they block the sun, pour down soaking rain, and just generally make the day mildly less pleasant. However, when one is privileged to that rare opportunity of looking down upon the clouds it is an entirely different story. Bright sun, clear air, and the rippling waves of vapor spread beneath you - to stand upon a mountain looking down upon a sea of clouds is a truly special experience.

The sun melts into an ocean of vapors.
This past week I was witness to a particularly spectacular "Sea of Clouds" phenomenon - the mist was moving so rapidly in rippling waves that you could watch it crash upon the mountains like an actual body of water. In the distance, swirling currents were visible, showing how the fog was flowing down the valleys from the mountains - an insubstantial flood of epic proportions. It was not hard to imagine, standing there, that one was witnessing one of the great Missoula floods!

River of mist flowing down the Toutle valley.

Fog turns the valleys into fleeting fjords.

An extra long exposure to capture the movement of the flowing clouds.

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