Having been informed Sunday by a congregational member that the wild flowers at both Rainier and St Helens were fully out, and on-line web cams confirming that the mountains were visible (we are presently being smothered with smoke from severe fires in British Columbia to our north) we set out before dawn to travel to Mt St Helens to shoot the wildflowers with what's left of the mountain as the backdrop. 300 miles of driving, the better part of 6 hours on the road and another 6 walking around looking for stuff to shoot, we returned home exhausted, hot, and for the most part busted. Mt St Helens was virtually totally obscured by smoke, the flowers with rare exception weren't, and the day rather warm. I think I might have had better results overall had we just shot in the area around our pond. With one delightful exception. Less than a mile below the Johnston Ridge Observatory (literally the end of the road and the last viewpoint of the mountain) is another nice vantage point for viewing the mountain called Loowit Lookout. There is a trail called the Boundary Trail which is a 4.5 mile section of a series of trails of perhaps 100 miles total that encompass the entire area north and east of the mountain. They are well maintained and easily traversed assuming you are in reasonable shape!! An 0.8 mile section of Boundary Trail connects the Johnston Ridge Observatory and Loowit Lookout. While I was walking around trying to make the best of a less than desirable situation, Jan and the cherubs had located a chipmunk that they thought looked a little undernourished and having an ample supple of treats in the van for her majesty, they selected a tasty one, broke it into small pieces, and placed them in a conspicuous place on some rock. The little critter just couldn't resist such a generous offer and proceeded to show her thanks by allowing me to shoot more than a few shots of her enjoying the delicious meal. Today's offering is Jan's favorite of the set.
I've cropped the base image for best composition, and given the background vegetation some selective darkening to keep your eye in the frame. Nikon D500; 18 - 200; Aperture priority; ISO 200; 1/640 sec @ f / 8. Hope you enjoy, dave.