Clouds along the Blue Ridge

Crisp blue sky days are common here in the mountains, but the most memorable views involve clouds and precipitation. Different times of the day can produce unusual combinations of light, color, and shadows. On September 22nd, while driving west approaching Hickory Nut Mountain, rain showers were falling across the ridges, but it was the position of the sun in relation to the clouds that created this magical scene.

Hickor Nut Mountain Sunbeams

On Friday evening, just at sunset, I stopped to appreciate the mountains around Lake Lure from an overlook about three miles northeast of the lake, and I was rewarded with the following vistas.

Rumbling Bald Sunset
That’s Rumbling Bald Mountain in the center, and Mount Shumont on the right. Chimney Rock Park is a little left of center.

Sugarloaf Mountain Clouds
That’s 4,000 foot Sugarloaf Mountain hiding under that cloak of thick clouds. There’s just something about the relationship of mountains with clouds that produces these incredible effects.

Dick's Mountain in Fog
This image of Dick’s Mountain on the south side of Otter Creek Valley was captured a few years ago, but the way the fog and clouds surround the slopes still draws me back to that day.

Rumbling Bald Storm
When the first cold front of the season was moving across the Blue Ridge Escarpment in the Fall of 2012, I was near the summit of Young’s Mountain at just the right time when the setting Sun created these eerie effects.

Wolf Pen Mountain Sunset
Wolf Pen Mountain at sunset was always memorable, but on this particular summer evening, the colors and textures were as beautiful as I’ve ever seen them.

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