2006-04-09 10:06:48.000 – Neil Lareau,  Observer

Fresh Rime

In the morning: A raven flying in 75 mph sustained winds, wings tucked and at times trembling; Holding itself in balance, but not without effort. Carving through the air and set against the white landscape its body seemed as a void of all color and light; almost a roving subtraction from the landscape.

In the evening: Immaculate white highlighted by intense low angle light.Multiple feet of fresh rime, a few inches of fresh snow, and 20” inches of half week old snow have transformed the landscape to one almost devoid of exposed rock. A sheet of thick high clouds that had blotted the sky throughout the day slid east allowing the sun to appear in earnest with staggering intensity.

A view from the East Snowfields revealed the top most prominence of lions head illuminated in crisp light set against deepening blue shadows across Tuckerman Ravine and the Alpine Garden. Directly to the east, Mount Washington’s projected shadow draped across the Carter-Moriah range exhibiting a fringe that was tinged red; Refraction around the mountain? Later the shadow lengthened and projected 50 miles toward the ocean.

The entirety of the summit crew and a cadre of visitors stood in exuberant awe of the sunset proper. The sun now sets a bit south of Mount Mansfield, and seems to be racing toward its summer extreme close to Jay Peak. As the majority of the solar disk dipped below the horizon the remaining portion deformed, becoming intensely yellow, and then florescent green, lingering detached for a moment just above the horizon.

Inside, shortly thereafter, the din of conversation filled the kitchen as we sat contented in our surroundings.


Neil Lareau,  Observer

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