Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bishop’s Cap Mountain and more

with 13 comments

When you scanned the previous picture from Glacier National Park on August 31st, did your glance get caught on the rocky protrusion way off to the left in the same way it probably did on the much more prominent Pollock Mountain? This time you get a closer of view of Bishop’s Cap Mountain, which is the name of that other peak. Despite the appearance of blue sky, there were clouds, and they moved rather quickly. You see the shadows of two of them, one to the right of the picture’s center and the other in the lower left corner. Intruding itself at the lower right, immobile, is a flank of Pollock Mountain.

So much depended on where I looked. The picture of Bishop’s Cap shows a clearer view than I had for much of the rest of the day. Compare that to the photograph I took two-and-a-half minutes later, also from the Logan Pass visitor center, facing in a different direction.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2017 at 5:01 AM

13 Responses

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  1. I hadn’t noticed because I was fixated on the topped pines. What an amazing difference in views. But I suppose that happens at my place too. There can be blue sky to the east but if I turn to the west there could be black clouds on the horizon. I often don’t know which sky is going to win out.


    October 16, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    • I can well imagine that New Zealand offers up quickly changing weather depending on the direction in which you look. I expect that’s especially true in the Southern Alps. On a toned-down scale, I sometimes notice even here in Austin that the sky sometimes looks different in different directions and I don’t know which will win out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2017 at 8:01 AM

  2. Was Bishop’s Cap covered by glaciers in the distant past?


    October 16, 2017 at 7:30 AM

  3. I was so taken by the pines and Pollock Mountain that I didn’t notice this one until I went back for a second look. The shadows are a nice addition. Watching them move across any kind of landscape can be entrancing, but I suspect in the mountains there are times they add substantially to the drama. An idle thought: sunshine and shadows help to define, while smoke flattens.


    October 16, 2017 at 7:53 AM

    • You might say I planted a clue in plain sight, or that nature had done so for me and I noticed it. I might have preferred a picture with no shadows on the mountains but that would have meant waiting, with no certainty that everything would momentarily be lit up. As for sunshine and shadows defining, and smoke flattening, I had primarily smoke that day. Pictorially speaking, I did my best to turn flattening into flattering.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2017 at 8:08 AM

  4. I was thinking how handy it must have been, back in the days of the wagon trains, when there were landmarks like this, that pioneers could recognize from the name. Even if you weren’t familiar with the Catholic or Orthodox headgear, a chess player would recognize a miter. (Although when I looked up Pollock Mt., I see it’s named for a person, not the fish!)
    I like the contrasting colors in the first shot.

    Robert Parker

    October 16, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    • When we were in western Nebraska on the trip before this one, we learned that Cathedral Rock and Scott’s Bluff had served as landmarks for pioneers on the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail. Apparently travelers could see the two monuments from more than a day away.

      I didn’t look up Pollock Mountain the way you did, and therefore didn’t know it was named for a person, but I can assure you the mountain doesn’t look like a fish!

      Like you, the contrasting colors of the two mountains in the first photograph appealed to me, too. I used a telephoto lens, so I was relieved that an aperture of f/9 was small enough to get the nearer and the farther mountain both in focus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2017 at 9:09 AM

  5. Yes, I did notice this in the left of the frame in your previous offering and was hoping you might be bringing us something more. Thanks for doing so. I’ve been to Cathedral Rock too, and it is indeed a memorable landmark. During a road trip to California in 2014, we happened upon the Monument Rocks in Gove County, western Kansas, and they made quite an impression, too. Have you ever seen them?


    October 16, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    • You’re welcome. I’d say you’re better at noticing such things than most people. I don’t know if I’d have noticed, had I not been the photographer.

      After our trip north through far eastern Colorado, I discovered we’d passed not too far from Monument Rocks but I hadn’t known about the place at the time. After I read the post at


      I was sorry we’d missed it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2017 at 10:22 AM

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