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This is Donner Lake at sunrise. I was hoping for some clouds, but none were to be had this time around. But there was a pretty cool fog hanging over the lake.


View in larger size and read about my adventure on my blog.


Copyright © Leon Turnbull Photography.

This photo may not be used in any form without prior permission. All rights reserved.


View of Donner Lake. Donner Summit is 7230 feet high, part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range This area is just north of Lake Tahoe (which we missed, sadly) (More of my July 2007 road trip which I am finally uploading) On Explore #241 July 12/08

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We went skiing last Thursday and Friday near Lake Tahoe, California. I had two meetings scheduled on Thursday, so I skipped skiing that day. The second meeting was an online meeting (open source TWiki meeting on IRC), so I was scouting a place with good cellphone reception so that I can get reliable internet access on my Mac via personal hotspot. I found the perfect place: An empty parking lot at Donner Lake near Truckee. I wish all meetings would be like this!


I processed a balanced HDR photo from three RAW exposures.


-- © Peter Thoeny, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, HDR, 3 RAW exposures, NEX-6, _DSC5289_0_1_hdr3bal1g

These long abandoned railroad tunnels overlooking Donner Lake were built between 1866 and 1868. They formed part of the transcontinental railroad system and were critical for getting the trains through Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada Range.


The workforce that built them were comprised of 12,000 grossly underpaid Chinese workers who labored under treacherous conditions while living in squalid quarters. I wondered while standing on this spot, if the workers appreciated the magnificent view. But probably, they just saw work. Hard backbreaking work.


Today, the tunnels are called the Truckee Graffiti Tunnels because of the work of numerous graffiti artists. The tunnels are a real destination during the summer months. But on this day we had them to ourselves.


The town of Truckee resides on the far side of the lake, and beyond it rise the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range.


Nevada County CA

Gorgeous morning at Donner Lake, near Truckee.

took this today in the greater tahoe area... donner lake, to be exact. had a wonderful time rock climbing, hiking & snapping photos. breathing in the sierras. mmm.


the 'normal' version is below (in comments)


{ D is for Dusk (n) -- The darker stage of twilight; semidarkness.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z }


Single shot.


Nikon D610 / Tokina 11 16mm

also taken yesterday in Donner Lake


please View On Black


I went out to Donner Summit last night to test drive some new gear, here's a view looking out over Donner Lake and Truckee. Hasn't anyone told mother nature that it's springtime yet? it was absolutely freezing out there, and what's worse we woke up to 1" of snow on the ground! It's never going to be warm up here.

Thanks for the comments, faves and visits

Early morning light on fresh snow along the lake shore.

Donner Memorial State Park

Barn Swallow at West Beach Park, Donner Lake, Nevada Co, California on 10 July 2017.

Snow and ice sliding off a rooftop slowly, bending these icicles inwards. Do not stand under!

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Summit Falls, 34 ft. high. I have known about this falls for some time, it is right by the freeway, but this is the first time I have been down to see it. See my blog for the full story.


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Copyright © Leon Turnbull Photography.

This photo may not be used in any form without prior permission. All rights reserved.


When my son-in-law moved to Nevada County from Australia I took him on a series of short day trips through our area. This was his first view of Donner Lake in the Sierra Nevada Range. I thought it was a nice introduction to the beauty of the area we live in. Looking at this image today, it's nice to see a view that isn't covered with low hanging smoke, which is our current reality in Northern California.


Nevada County CA

Foreground spiral of rocks at Donner Lake as the sun sets.

Donner Lake, California

Donner Memorial State Park

View from the Lincoln Highway East towards Donner Lake near the Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada.

near Truckee, California 2013.

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Creek at the Donner Memorial State Park.

I spent some time at Donner Pass enjoying the stars and the quiet time. I planned on using a tracking mount to take long exposures but technical issues stopped that plan.

Canon 7d mark ii 50 mm 1.4. Standard tripod.

Late in the day at Donner Lake, California: June 17, 2008

Spring is like a perhaps hand


E. E. Cummings


Spring is like a perhaps hand

(which comes carefully

out of Nowhere)arranging

a window,into which people look(while

people stare

arranging and changing placing

carefully there a strange

thing and a known thing here)and


changing everything carefully


spring is like a perhaps

Hand in a window

(carefully to

and fro moving New and

Old things,while

people stare carefully

moving a perhaps

fraction of flower here placing

an inch of air there)and


without breaking anything.

I made a trip to Donner Summit the previous morning and returned with disappointment as there were no clouds during sunrise.

However, I didn't give up, I decided to try my luck the next morning as well. I had to gamble because my room was under the fog blanket over the lake and I had no way to look outside for any high clouds.

Luck favored me on second try, as I witnessed one of the most fiery sunrises in this region.

Donner Lake was fully covered with Fog, however the fiery skies lit the clouds from the top to make it look wonderful.

I used Singh Ray Reverse Grad filter to balance the exposure at the scene.

This was the first shot I started at around 445 am, while it was stil dark. The light on the clouds is from Reno, and Truckee light pollution. I think the bright planet shining through the haze is Jupiter. Still have to put together the timelapse, the fog undulates like the ocean in this shot, which is pretty neat.

Lake Tahoe


Tahoe Artist Melinda Plumbridge used this photo as a model for her recent painting "Early morning at Sand Harbor".


The painting subsequently graced the cover of the book "Treasure in the Jewel" by Tahoe author Beth Larsen-Gebhardt

ISBN# 13:978-0-9818170-0-2

This is my first shot of the Milky Way! I was a bit worried that my camera would be able to pick anything up. So I was absolutely thrilled when I saw this on the back of my camera!

Stopped above Donner Lake today for this view of the west end of the lake. I can never cross Donner Pass without thinking a little about the tragedy that resulted in it's current name.


A small excerpt from Wikipedia,

"In early November 1846 the Donner Party found the route blocked by snow and was forced to spend the winter on the east side of the mountains. Of the 81 emigrants, only 45 survived to reach California; some of them resorting to cannibalism to survive."


Donner Pass today:

Donner Pass - Wikipedia


The story of the Donner Party:

Donner Party - Wikipedia

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