Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunrise, Smoke, and Pelicans

It looked like an auspicious day for birds and photos of the sunrise as I left for work last Wednesday, so I ran back and grabbed my camera.
The Long Draw fire near McDermitt, NV, had sent smoke toward Midas the day before; last Wednesday, the second day of the fire, smoke created a bright red sunrise over the Osgood Mountains, visible from I-80 just west of Button Point. Then, because of sun angle, topography, and changes in elevation while moving eastward on the freeway, the sun appeared to set behind the high mountains.
Dense smoke lowered visibility to the north, effectively hiding the Hot Springs Range.
Coming into Emigrant Canyon, I got lucky, and the pelicans that frequent the river were closer than ever, flying right in front of the truck...and, I had my camera!
Here, one small group of the large pelican flock appears to fly straight toward the sunrise.
As the truck approached the railroad crossing at Preble, the pelicans flew upriver en masse more or less toward Valmy.
Somewhat farther up the road, the Midas Trough became barely visible through the smoke coming down from McDermitt.
The day before, much of the area north of the Owhyhee Bluffs had been completely lost in smoke. Here, the bluffs are barely visible, highlighted by the rising sun.

It was a smoky day.


Hollis said...

great photo of the silhouetted pelicans flying in a line ...the barbed wire is a nice touch!

Gaelyn said...

Great intuition bringing the camera. Smokey skies do make for colorful sunrises/sets.

Silver Fox said...

Thanks, Hollis...I took all of them from a moving vehicle, so it's fortunate that the fence turned out okay. :)

Gaelyn, now if I only knew every time the pelicans were going to be flying. Or, I could bring camera all the time, but usually resist the extra weight.

Tony Edger said...

From a moving truck?!!

Amazing photographs just became even more amazing.

American White Pelicans, I assume.

Silver Fox said...

Well, I wasn't driving! No place or time to stop...

Yes, they are the American White Pelicans, the local ones have a great home base at Pyramid Lake.