Sunrise on the Shenandoah Mountains

This is a hopeful picture.

US Dept of Interior Tweet:  Beautiful #sunrise over @ShenandoahNPS last weekend. #Virginia #travel #nature

US Dept of Interior Tweet: Beautiful #sunrise over @ShenandoahNPS last weekend. #Virginia #travel #nature

Probably taken along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  At the bottom of the photo, note the stone wall, probably built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Franklin Roosevelt administration, and still contributing to America’s beauty and economy 80 years later.

I can imagine driving along, catching a beautiful sunrise, but not being at a point to stop to photograph it.  Driving farther along, the photographer found a safe place to stop, but the sunrise itself was gone by 15 minutes.  With the aid of a young tree, however, the photographer can recapture that moment of the Sun’s peeking over the horizon, without special effects.  Nice thought for the shot.


8 Responses to Sunrise on the Shenandoah Mountains

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    But if you keep looking, you can find mountaintop removal mines in Virginia and Kentucky (as I had feared).

    Here’s a photo of mine in Wise County, Virginia. How close to Shenandoah NP? Visible from the park?

    Mountaintop removal mining in Wise County, Virginia


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Here’s a NASA Earth Observatory map of mountaintop removal mines — all of them in West Virginia. Most of Shenandoah is east of these mines (and south), in Virginia.
    NASA Earth Observatory map of mountaintop removal mining (West Virginia)

    See NASA feature on mountaintop removal mining, here:

    My guess is that from any easily accessible vantage point in Shenandoah NP, one would not be able to see more than find dust from mountaintop removal mines that look to be at least 50 miles distant from the park.

    Plus, assuming the photo really is a photo of a sunrise, it would be looking in the direction OPPOSITE the mining. (Took me a few minutes on that one.)

    Excellent question about mining visibility from parks. Most of the time NPS rather jealously regards views from National Parks, and some NPS areas have wide areas surrounding the units where conservation agreements have withheld ugly developments that would spoil views. I’m sure there are exceptions (Gettysburg Battlefield NP, for one example).


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Shenandoah National Park runs about 102 miles, north to south, between Front Royal, Virginia, to Rockfish Gap. It would be interesting to know how close to the park any mountaintop removal is, and whether it would be visible.

    National Park Travel map of Shenandoah National Park

    Anyone know?


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    No — that’s a National Park. No mountain tops being removed under the fog. So far as I know, mining is allowed in only one unit of the National Park Service, Organ Pipe Cactus, in Arizona.

    One might find a lot of dead hemlock trees, though, from one of our latest invasive pest species’s invasions.


  5. Don Strong says:

    Any mountain top removal under that fog?


  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Good heavens, Mark! Why wouldn’t anyone find such a sunrise to be full of hope?


  7. […] wonder at the use of the adjective “hopeful”. Not what comes to mind for me at […]


  8. […] wonder at the use of the adjective “hopeful”. Not what comes to mind for me at […]


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