Smoky Crater Lake

No A/C in my room, just an inefficient fan, so windows stayed open and I breathed in smoky air all night. Not the best of worlds. About 4:00 am I sensed a change, the air was cleaner. Apparently, that was the pattern at Crater Lake during this wildfire season. The atmosphere became wetter, denser, at night and pushed smoke upwards. With sunup, the moisture quickly evaporated and smoke filled the air.

Smokey skies but a visible lake at dawn. By mid-morning, the lake was invisible from the lodge which sat 100’ above it. Unfortunately, all of southern Oregon and northern California were blanketed in smoke from hundreds of fires that raged from Mexico to the North Pole.

Smoky skies made sensational sunrises. The lodge faced east, the sky lightened about 4:30, by 5:00 I was outside with my camera. If I squinted, I could almost see across Crater Lake. It was reassuring knowing there really was a lake there and a huge one.

I wanted to capture as much of orange/yellow/pink/purple sunrise as I could. The sun didn’t actually breach the rim of the crater until 6:06 a.m.. Before sunup the sky was bright but dull. The sun wasn’t a distinct ball, it was fuzzy as if hungover from partying with the moon all night.

The sun was an orange ball for a few seconds, then darkened and the reflection off the lake was blood red. It was eerie, omen-ish, which caused me a little shudder. The blood  red reflection on the water looked like a crime scene. Slowly, the sun pulled itself together, became not-quite-as-threatening as it transited upwards.

I’ve seen ghostly blood moons before, but a blood sun was something else, something vastly more threatening, more sinister, and more immediate. Maybe it was Mother Nature getting even. Despite our shameful disregard for the earth, climate change is immeasurably bigger than the damage we’ve caused. It won’t last forever but could last centuries, or it could stabilize in a few years. Europe’s mini ice age lasted nearly six centuries with much colder winters, more snow, and more ice from about 1300-1870.

The mini ice age didn’t cause the problems global warming is. I’ve read that both the Gulf Stream and the Prevailing Westerlies are slowing which will have serious repercussions. Not much I can do about any of that but that big orange ball outside my window had me worried.

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