|Mount Rainier and flowers on Mazama Ridge.|
I typically start in Yakima Park at Sunrise in mid to late July, as well as Spray Park and the Tipsoo Lake area. But these areas were all considerably late this year. I didn't make it up to Spray Park this year, but the flowers that that did arrive in the Sunrise area did so around the first week August.
|Early light on the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.|
The exception was Mazama Ridge, where a mixed variety of flowers carpeted the rolling meadows. Lupine was still the dominant bloom, but paintbrush, asters, pink heather and more could also be found.
I spent several mornings on Mazama Ridge at sunrise, arriving at Fourth Crossing by 4:30 am and hiking up to the ridge in the dark with my headlamp. I typically shot until about 8:30 or so before retreating back to the parking lot in search of new adventures for the day.
|Mount Rainier and pink heather on Mazama Ridge.|
I photographed at some familiar locations, and also explored some new areas, which I am excited to return to.
While Mount Rainier is the grand spectacle and the focal target of most photographers, the Tatoosh Range can also be very nice. One morning I purposely kept my back to Rainier the entire morning, focusing solely on the Tatoosh Range. In many ways, it was a refreshing approach that challenge my vision and creativity.
|The Tatoosh Range and pink heather.|
I also took time to visit other areas around the park, including Comet Falls, the Eastside Trail, the Naches Peak Loop, Burroughs Mountain and Pinnacle Saddle. These offered a wide variety of photography, which I find keeps things fresh.
|The Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge.|
I arrived to find perfect shooting conditions in the mid-morning light, only I didn't have my camera! While frustrated, I found much humor in the predicament. Lesson learned. I returned the next morning to make amends.
|Mount Rainier reflection.|
The challenge of the tarn shot on this day was that a sloped snow bank completely covered the ground on its south side. In order to get low (and at the risk of falling in), I had to lay facing downslope on the snowbank to compose the shot - which I found not to be easy. But patience and perseverance paid off.
I hope you enjoy these images. Many more images are available for viewing in my Mount Rainier Gallery.
With fall colors beginning to emerge, there are still many reasons to get up and photograph around The Mountain. Be sure and take advantage of it!
Hope to see you on the trail!