Mountain morning

mountain mist
A wet season here means lots of mornings when the day hasn’t yet decided what it will do.

At 3000 feet, my place is inside the clouds as they hover between earth and sky, unable to rise above the nearby higher mountains of 5000 feet or more.

When they do begin to lift, the sun gets its chance in often spectacular ways. From the window over my kitchen sink, I get a great view of this brief beauty to the north-east.

Up my track and through the forest, the ordinary is illuminated by a lighting effects whizz.

Spotlit, backlit and highlit, alternating softening and scintillating lenses—trees and tussocks, bracken and bark, mud and puddles—all transformed.

What a start to the day—good morning, mountain!



Before I lived on my mountain, on the same level as the sky, and with no need for curtains to hide it from my view at night, I thought sunsets were the big blockbuster event of the sky’s day.

Now I realise I rarely saw a sunrise except at the beach, when that enormous red orb popping out of the horizon is indeed amazing.

But in the city, my sleep ended by loud alarm clock rather than silent dawn, for decades I was deprived of this spectacular show.

The windows beside my bed here are set low, so from my morning pillow I can watch the first lightening of the sky beyond the black filigree of the treeline.

If there are clouds, their early grey begins to be edged, then flushed, with the softest rose pink; the grey becomes lilac.

There ought to be violins.

Within seconds that maiden blush has taken fire, a hectic gypsy tarantella of gold and orange. Fiddles do play, feet stamp and skirts swirl.

But it is so fleeting.

Soon dull daylight steps briskly into place, unimaginative, up front, to set the workaday world in action. Time to get up and go rake some horse manure, I suppose. But what a way to start the day!

And if I’m good, maybe they’ll put on another show tomorrow?


Cloud dunes


Autumn is noted for its winds here. They’ve been a little late this year, but then everything about the weather has been out of whack.

Because the mountains I face are so high, clouds often get hooked there. The wind then appears to flow over them, sculpts them into an upper mountain range.

But very early the other morning, the wind instead formed the clouds into a mighty dune, super smooth, backlit by the rising sun so it held a silver edge for about a quarter of an hour.

Other small clouds, unreliable bits of fluff, promenaded about and skylarked, ski-ing down the slope while the going was good.

I looked for my local wedge-tailed eagles. I’ll bet they were checking out the wind waves from somewhere out there – ‘Great day for a surf, eh?’

I wished for wings – but instead I grabbed the camera. There’s a lot to be said for getting up early – at least when you live somewhere like this. More clouds to come…