Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the continental United States. Just an hour and a half from Badwater in Death Valley, the lowest point in the Western Hemipshere, Whitney rises like a big tooth in the California Sierra Nevada Range. On this particular morning, dawn brought not only the setting nearly full moon, but this wonderful lenticular cloud which formed over the Sierras. As the cloud floated above the mountains like a giant bird, the rising sun illuminated the Alabama Hills in the foreground, making a nicely layered composition.
When stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side, forming lentincular clouds like these. This particular cloud only lasted for moments, just long enough for me to capture it forever in the camera.
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Spotlight photo at http://barbaralee.aminus3.com/image/2010-10-09.html