At dawn on Mount Hood

... early riser photographs first light

Photos from Len Dalton

The recent request for photos, made to our SilverStringer connections and to our readers in general, drew a raft of early morning flicks taken by Len Dalton, one of the more active seniors in Melrose. His photos were all taken on Mount Hood -- our city's pride-and-joy park/golf course -- which towers just under 300 feet above sea level.

So we asked Len (who has published close to ninety stories in the Melrose Mirror) to give us an idea of how he goes about capturing all these rather spectacular pictures.

"I try to get up in the early morning dark, make coffee while dressing and head for the parking area at Mount Hood," he explained by email. "My real quest is exercise. This winter I got a nifty Panasonic 12X zoom digital camera and take it every day as you can never predict what you will see from the higher area.

"The sun comes up at a different location every morning and the color plays with the clouds is also never the same. The reward is a strong feeling of having 'earned' my day. All those sunrise shots are in the morning although this morning I caught a nice shot of the waning full moon.

"Once in a while my wife joins me but usually I go alone. As the season progresses the sun comes up earlier and so in late May I find myself getting out of bed at 3:45 a.m. but not every day. The birth of the area from winter is a load of fun. Recently I caught a 50 foot view of a large fisher at Mt. Hood and that was really a treat. As I say, it makes me feel I have earned the day."

Clouds over the Atlantic, at dawn.

The Moon over Melrose, only a quarter million miles away. We've been there.

A strong telephoto lens captures skylines in neighboring Saugus, Malden and Revere.

Men in a jet plane, at the edge of space.

A fiery star turns our world red.

It's still dark but quite visible are moonshadows.

Cobalt blue sunshadows of two Mount Hood oaks.

May 5, 2006

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