With roiling clouds, northern lights and a picture-perfect view of Mount Rainier, this time lapse video from Washington state is a stunning tribute to our beautiful planet.
Low clouds waft around high peaks while cirrostratus whisk overhead in the opposite direction. The fog-like layer flows across the video like a river — our atmosphere is also a fluid in motion. The highest-level winds are blowing in the opposite direction, which shows how winds in the troposphere change direction with height, even on pristine weather days.
The photographer, Don K. Jensen, shot the video from High Rock in the South Cascades, which climbs to an elevation of 5,682 feet. High Rock is a natural “pillar” rock formation with very steep sides, according to the USGS. “The exposure on this pillar is worthy of caution,” says the Washington Trail Association, “there are no longer any cables to protect you from a sheer vertical drop, as much as 600 feet on the north side.”
Jensen knew the clouds that were above him as he drove to the trail head were very shallow, and that clear sky would be waiting for him at the peak.
“Most of us have been in an airplane flying above the clouds, but that experience does not compare to actually standing with a layer of clouds just below your feet,” writes Jensen. “It is one of the most tranquil and spectacular sights a person could see.”