"Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams..."
~Percy P Shelley
Drove up to the White River National Forest over the Labor Day week end. Rainier looms over the landscape. This magnificent volcano is still covered with snow. We who live ibetween the shadow of this mountain and on the edge of Puget Sound have had little summer this year. This week will be hot (in the 80s and 90s) during the day but it cools down nicely at night. We awaken to summer flowers and 40F temperatures. It gives summer a dreamy quality. The lower mountains still have patches of snow. The bit of snow in the photo above was found at 3500 feet of elevation. Mt. Rainier at it's full elevation (the Columbia Crest) is 14,000+ feet. There are several glaciers on the mountain ~ leaving the mountain snow covered year round.
The road side was littered with colorful wildflowers. It gives lie to the terrible summer the rest of the country has had. We are lulled. Surely nothing bad will ever happen here. Another siren's song! Still there is comfort in golden yellow and delicate purple.
I love the sight of the mountain in the distance, perhaps more so on this visit to the Park because the Mountain seems even more impressive on a warm clear day. It sits large and protective and for a few moments all feels safe. Never mind that on the roads in the valley below the mountain there are volcano evacuation signs...in case Rainer blows his top. :) The fantasy of safety is to lovely to simply hand over willy-nilly to Reality.
"The summer dawn's reflected hue
In purple changed Loch Katrine blue,
Mildly and soft the western breeze
Just kiss'd the lake, Just stirr'd the trees..."