Volcanic Fields, Northern Arizona, USA by Bernhard Michaelis

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Picture Story

Moisture is rising as mist in winter, early in the morning just before sunrise. This photo is taken from my home on the rim of Moon Crater. It is located in the volcanic fields surrounding the San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona. You are looking east towards Miriam Crater. Living off grid on my land, I feel privileged to enjoy the solitude of this vast desertscape that usually extends below me on the horizon: the Little Colorado River basin, John Turrell's Roden Crater and beyond the Navajo Reservation. Way back on the horizon I can make out the Hopi mesas. Not so this morning. A ground inversion developed during the night: the ground cooled off rapidly by radiation. The temperature of surface air dropped below its dew point, with resulting mist. This rare occurrence had me run out and position my tripod hastily just before sunrise. I caught the top of Merriam Crater, all shrouded in mist.


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