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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

Morning Has Broken

Last Sunday afternoon when I went to Buck Bald Mountain I knew immediately that I would have to return for a dawn shoot. With its 360 degree view of valleys and the Blue Ridge Mountains, dawn here would have to be an incredible site. Because of its slightly remote location, I did not want to try to go alone. I had just joined the Nature Photography in the Blue Ridge Mountains Facebook group, and when I posted my first picture which I had taken at Buck Bald to that group, I mentioned that I wanted to return at some point for a dawn shoot. Two other members of that group immediately responded and suggested coming Saturday. I was delighted. So yesterday morning I got myself out of bed at 4:45 and out of the house a little after 5:00 for the hour's drive to Buck Bald. Brandon and Tony, who had arrived Friday evening and camped out in their cars, were there as expected. Eventually there were nine of us, including a couple with their two small boys, eagerly awaiting the sun to peek up through the valley fog. This dawn was much more like the ones at the beach. However because of the low lying "fog" clouds, the "blue hour" ( the period of twilight in the morning or evening when the sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade) was actually a pink one as the glow of the rising sun reflected off those low clouds. It was surprisingly bright in the pre-dawn hour, too. Being at a height greater than most of the rest of surrounding landscape, the eastern sky had nothing to hide behind. It was quite unlike any other sunrise that I had experienced before. I will readily admit to not being a morning person, but sunrise shoots like this one, could turn me into one...sort of. Brandon and Tony told me how they had spent Friday night with a bonfire, chatting, and eventually shooting the last fall remnants of the Milky Way. I wish I had known. Next spring when this star cluster returns to our northern hemisphere, I plan to return, too, as getting astroshots of that is toward the top of my bucket list. I am so glad to have rediscovered this wonderful location as well as some new friends. What a great way to start a new day.

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