Thursday, July 16, 2009

Weather Tales of an Alpine Lake


A photography venture along the 72-mile rim of Lake Tahoe reveals a lake with many faces and varying moods, transitioning from a calm spring morning to the tumultuous fury of a sudden storm and then back to a serene stillness as dusk descends.

On a sunny, placid April morning, the photo shoot begins at the Vista Point on the West Summit of Mt Rose. Standing at 8,900 feet, the high panoramic view showcases Lake Tahoe with the Carson Range to the east and the Sierra Nevada Range on the west.

Vista Point View

To catch the early morning reflections, the next stop is Sand Harbor, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, off Highway 28. An intimate cove gives a quiet retreat with subtle pastel colors, inviting one to stay a while and commune with nature. Along the beach, the fine sand is composed of feldspar and quartz particles which was created by wave and weathering action against the granodiorite boulders.

Sand Harbor

Looking to the north, quiescence lies over the Lake allowing reflections of the snow capped Sierras to mimic a mirror image in the crystalline waters.

Sand Harbor Reflections

At mid-morning the drive takes me south along Highway 28 to the glacier carved turquoise Emerald Bay. Granite peaks, accented with tall pines and spruce, tell of a by-gone era when the landscape was sculpted by ice reaching the shoreline. Within Emerald Bay, Fannett Island stands 150 feet above the water and is a remnant of the glacier action that created the bay.

Emerald Bay

Across the highway from Emerald Bay a trail ascends one third mile along snow covered banks to the cascading stream at Eagle Falls which flows sixty feet down, emptying into the lower falls.

Eagle Falls

During a break for lunch the winds increase from the south with storm clouds riding their cusp. The Lake’s gentle face has turned malevolent from the storm’s fury. Staying ahead of the storm, I travel to the North Shore where the wind driven waves crest toward the rocky shoreline at King’s Beach State Recreation Area.

Kings Beach

At a higher elevation past Tahoe City the temperature continues to drop turning rain into snow and creating a winter wonderland with the landscape at Sugar Pine State Park.

Sugar Pine

By late afternoon as I return to the Nevada side of the loop, the storm has traversed the Lake, draping the rain-laden sky on the North Shore with battle gray clouds just as a golden ray of sun breaks through, illuminating the lake below.

Lake Tahoe

As evening descends, calmness is restored, bringing me to my final destination, a return to Vista Point. The sun’s final curtain warms the horizon as the stillness of day’s finale settles over the Lake.

Vista Point Sunset

What an exciting and interesting photo-adventure this day has been.  I love it when I am drawn to an area and not knowing what to expect I get treated to new experiences. 

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Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.

 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 

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