"Sunrise over Lake Hampton"
Seen here is the picturesque Lake Hampton (part of High Hampton Inn, in Cashiers, North Carolina), just as the sun is rising over the ancient Appalachian Mountains. Since the mountains are so close to the lake, daybreak actually happens long before the sun is directly visible. It is this direct sunlight which evaporates the fog and mist. This lends a unique ambiance to these alpine lake scenes, with the mist lasting into the mid-morning colors – colors usually associated with a time of day when mist and dew are long gone.
I love this area of North Carolina because it is just so easy to simply enjoy nature. One of my favorite things to do is to wake up early and just set out walking, with no destination in mind. The different waves of interesting light (dawn, followed later by when the sun finally crests over the mountains) ensure that you get beautiful scenery the whole time. And casual strolls, as opposed to scheduling trips to icons, present me with tranquil slices of life, which I feel is what Appalachia is all about, anyway.
Other photos from High Hampton: