Sunset over the shoulder of Wheeler Crest.

Clouds are a big part of the show here, and they’ve been especially vibrant and varied this year. That’s been convenient for my daily photo blog, because I’ve also been chained to my desk a lot. But it makes for a lazy compromise: one of the points of keeping a posting schedule is to get out and explore the world, and that’s easy to do when amazing things are just sliding by.

We get a wild variety of cloud forms here, due to the rugged terrain, the change in altitude, and the change in climate. Wind is funnelled and shaped by the canyons in the high Sierra, then shocked by the hot dry air of the desert.

But what we rarely see is a sheet of low-hanging gray that covers several states and persists for days, like I grew up with on the east coast of the U.S. Here, those blankets get chopped up by the underlying peaks and valleys, so It seems like there’s always a gap where light gets through. All that combined creates scenes like this, where sunset can get underneath the chassis and light it up. Add in a dramatic ridgeline, and there’s almost always a photo to be had on a busy day.

And it doesn’t seem to matter who you are, young or old, retired or not, everyone gets absorbed in what they are doing and misses parts of the big show. That’s why we help each other out by texting “beauty calls” to each other, an alert to go outside and watch cloud porn.