The sun was moving lower in the southwest the other day while I was visiting the Deer Lodge Valley. I was exploring up the Sand Hollow Road off Dry Cottonwood Creek, when I happened to glance to the southeast and notice sunlight pooling on the grassy hilltops. Light PoolsGrass lands -- Sand Hollow Road. Deer Lodge Valley, Montana. December 22, 2019.
I seem to visualize the separation between day and night (the 'terminator') as a relatively sharp line that sweeps across the landscape as the earth turns eastward. From outer space or high in the atmosphere it may appear to be sharp, but locally the terminator seems to creep up hills from deep spots in the landscape.
Here the terminator is rising from shallow tributaries of Dry Cottonwood Creek in the Deer Lodge Valley, Montana. In doing so, it creates hilltop light pools. For the moment, the camera is in its own little light pool... with the terminator at its toes.
Click on the image to see it in the Montana All Year Round Gallery.
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