Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Rainbow Mountain
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Rainbow Mountain
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 300mm Nikkor-M f/9 lens, Kodak Professional Portra 160 film, 83 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Rainbow Mountain

Elkhorn Road, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo & Kern Counties, CA, 4/12/2017

Here’s a wildflower-covered mountain in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument at twilight. The peak is just south of McKittrick Summit in the Temblor mountain range and rises about 1,400 feet above the trailhead at Elkhorn Road on the valley floor. Each patch of color is due to green grass or the predominance of a single variety of flower. The lilac flowers are purple tansy, blue tansy, or lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia). The red-orange flowers are San Joaquin blazingstar (Mentzelia pectinata). The yellow flowers are hillside daisy (Monolopia lanceolata). This scene is lit by the afterglow of sunset, which eliminates harsh shadows, and is ideal for capturing color. Following the previous winter's heavy rains during an extended drought, California was enjoying a rare super bloom! A few hundred years ago, California’s Central Valley was a vast grassland where antelope and elk grazed, and wildflowers graced the spring landscape. Today, Carrizo Plain survives as a remnant amid the state’s urban and agriculture development.

Rainbow Mountain

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