Friday, March 28, 2008

Mount Baker Appears, Over Roofs and Under Wires

At sunrise on my fifth morning here, Mt. Baker, clear as anything. Sticking up over a roof and under a phone wire. As usual, barely photographs with my little camera so only a most subtle image to show here.

In reality, not subtle at all.

It poured down snow for a while, yesterday and today. Weather changed about 42 times. Snow rain sleet snow sun. At sunset yesterday, really blue water (but no Mt. Baker.)

The Very-PA view : mostly small houses, Strait casually visible. Click for large horizon image

Even though now I know where to look and exactly what to look for, haven't seen the mountain again. This makes me feel marginally less stupid. I didn't see it until my fifth day here because it actually wasn't visible.

(Mount Baker is the Cascade volcano behind Bellingham, which you can see from Victoria, from all along this side of the Strait, from the suburbs of Vancouver... According to Google Earth it is 89 or so miles from here; and only 72 miles from the Victoria shore like Oak Bay or Cadboro Bay or so (a little less certain about that line). I've been puzzling over this for a while. From the temple on Cerro Gordo, you could look out the window and see Mt. Taylor clearly on the horizon, and that was 100 miles and about 4000 feet of additional elevation. Mt. Baker is closer by far, and the vertical difference is like 10,500' (sea level to the top), two and a half times greater than from Cerro Cordo Park in Santa Fe to the top of Mount Taylor west of Grants. No wonder it sometimes seems to loom. And yet, and yet, it also feels so far away when you see it. And even on clear days often vanishes into the air. It must have to do with the difference in seeing that dry desert air makes. Who'd have thunk it.)


bookinista said...

Isn't it great? discovering such unexpected, magical sights from a new prospect, all the surprises of a new dwelling place.

The snapshots are perfect--I feel myself looking out your window just before sunrise and spotting the mountain there.

samcandide said...

Oh! and before I forget (I should've thought of it before):

Lady, it's obvious--as Donovan so eloquently paraphrased the Zen saying,

"first there is a mountain
then there is no mountain
then there is ..."