Bald Mountain, Adirondacks, NY.
A little before sunrise, I climb the fire tower on Bald Mountain. Below me, the narrow ridge that hosts me rises above the Fulton Chain Lakes, unseen beneath a sea of fog that is almost neatly held in a valley stretching to sight's end in either direction . Intent on capturing the sunrise on the opposite side of the tower cab, I fail one of the basic tenets of photography to always look behind you. When I do, the south east view is side-lit, bathing my perch in golden light, kissing the tree tops below that, and skimming the top of the mist. Fourth Lake lies under that subtly colored blanket, with decreasing numbers stretching into the downstream cloud. It will burn off in the next half hour or so to reveal them like sparkling jewels. There's much to be said for endless views, but for now I'll take the mystery of what lies beneath.