Looking north in the early morning, Peyto Lake and the entire valley that stretches over 20 miles north are in deep shadow. Nonetheless, the lake reflects the blue of the clear overhead sky. Above, and also extending to the end of the valley, is a standing wind-wave where clouds are forming and dissolving, tinted by the morning sun. Seen from close at hand, like those overhead, these clouds are in the constant motion of formation, while seen from a distance (as are those further up the valley), they seem stationary since they constantly dissolve rather than float eastward.
As light from the rising sun enters the valley, the tops of foreground firs are the first signs of illumination. Next the contours of the ridgeline appear on the slopes and lake surface and then, by the time the lake is lit by direct sunlight its remarkable glacial-green color emerges to contrast with the high-altitude deep blue sky. The sun, continuing to warm the east-facing slope of the valley produces rising warm air to further feed the overhead standing wave of clouds whose shadows slide down the slope but, even by the end of this sequence, almost never manage to cross the lake surface before they dissolve.
The only sounds at this time of day are those of the slowly modulating wind in distant trees and occasional crows, stellar jays, hawks and ground squirrels - separately and in occasional conversation.Close