Canada’s Banff National Park is filled with stunning
mountain peaks capped with glaciers and snow. The steep, rugged mountains are
the source of beautiful, turquoise streams that feed alpine lakes.
turquoise water is interesting. As glaciers move, they polish the underlying
rock, producing very fine particles of dust called rock flour. The rock flour
mixes with the water traveling downstream. The color is a result of light reflecting
around the densely packed dust in the water. On bright days, with the sun
in the right position, the river displays the brilliant turquoise. If the sky
is more cloudy, the water will be a milky off-white. When it reaches the lakes,
the rock flour eventually settles out. But, if the river is filling the lake
quickly, the lakes can be turquoise also.
mountainside on this image from Kootenay National Park is beautifully colored.
But the coloring is deceptive. The rust color is dead conifers. The black is
foliage that was consumed by fire. Many of the conifers died due to pine beetle
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution!
This past week, we had a morning where the rain clouds were
breaking up in the early morning. I chose that day to explore Doton’s Point trail
at Folsom Lake Recreation Area; a trail that was new to me. The grasses and
other plants were displaying their spring green. The early morning sun helped
saturate the colors. Spring was at its finest. I went with the expectation that
I might see some different birds. Instead, I discovered that it was time for some
The beautiful rocks in this image are granite. The area around this portion of Folsom Lake is called Granite Bay because of the abundance of granite in the area. Like the Sierra Nevada mountains, this area sets on a pluton, a large blob of magma that cooled slowly underground to form granite then was uplifted and exposed.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.