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Alpine Lunar Magic; the reunion. Mt. Rainier, Spray Park @ sunset | by Douglas Remington - Ethereal Light® Photography
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Alpine Lunar Magic; the reunion. Mt. Rainier, Spray Park @ sunset

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So it's been 20 years since I have been to spray park, and boy did I pick a grand day to come. Yesterday I was looking at weather data across the pacific northwest, and at last minute I chose to come here. I arrived later than I hoped to (and I was hustling and out of breath), so I had not much scouting time. Yes the wild flowers are nice up there, they are just at their peak, perhaps a little past their prime, and the lupines did not grow as tall this season.

 

And let me tell you, the mosquitoes are terrible right now! Anyways, I did see an elusive Pine Martin, he walked right in front of me. I had never seen one in the wild before. I also noticed a big fat Hoary Marmot sitting on a rock close to me. I didn't take photos because I had my super wide on.

 

Now for the nitty gritty. The sky was awesome, and to boot, the moon was there to add another dimension. So I climbed a little higher than the main part of spray park and found an alpine "lake."

I tried several comps and this one is my fave. This was very difficult. I was literally being swarmed by mosquitoes. They were on my lens, biting my eyebrows, ears, knuckles, everywhere! They were biting through my jacket, and when I was holding my neutral grad in front of my lens they just attacked my hand and had a feast. I couldn't move, and blowing on them did not work. I had to stay cool. I had my mirror locked up and I wasn't going to risk touching the camera and ruin the several second exposure. Just had to tough it out; no pain, no gain I guess.

 

This was one of the best light shows I have ever seen. So blessed to have been there!

 

So I had to hike out in the dark (4 miles to trail head) and l am no stranger of doing this (this is how great photos are made), but in them woods are some spooky sounds. I just kept whistling and making noise, always looking behind me with my headlamp to make sure I was not being tailed by a cougar. Pretty soon I was in the darkest and quietest part of the woods and I heard a loud snap behind me and some fast foot work. I froze and just about browned my shorts! I'm thinking, what, a cougar, bear, a yeti? LOL! I picked up my pace and I couldn't been happier to get back to my car, which I "slept" in for a few hours and then drove home. This image was totally worth the effort (8 miles round trip - highest point I was at 6450 feet)!

  

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Taken on October 14, 2011