Lenticular Cloud, South Rim

The Mothership.

More info on lenticular clouds.

Strolling along the south rim, late December, I caught a bit of great light at the tail end of a day that saw sheets of snowstorms wafting over and into the canyon. As I began my western journey home, I spotted a solitary lenticular cloud sculpted by the wind and lit by the last rays of the setting sun. Whereas the lower clouds would drift with the prevailing winds, this cloud held its place, shaped but not moved by the gales, hovering above the canyon like a mothership.

I set up and made a few long exposures so as to illustrate the contrast between the motion of the clouds more dramatically. As the sun departed, the winds picked up and I stepped back from the frosty edge of the world and headed for warmer environs.

The snow and the clouds and the sun are forever locked in a fascinating dance, always changing and always the same. There is no better time to visit the Grand Canyon than in the dead of winter.

Lenticular Cloud, South Rim