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Humpback Rocks: Panorama at the Top

This week, we finally make it to the top of Humpback Rocks. The climb takes you through dense woods and over slippery rocks. Near the top, three trolls and a sphinx guard the trail. Pick them out from a photo below. At the trail head, as you step out of the woods, a U-shaped opening in the rocks gives you a view of the valley to the west. Usually, if the weather is nice, there will already be other climbers at the top. It's popular with students, and Charlottesville is only 30 minutes away. People bring their dogs too, and they're just as nimble as people on the rocks. In the panoramas below, notice that the trees in the foreground are green, or have some seasonal color. The more distant trees and mountains fade to blue. Terpenes and other small organic molecules from pine trees and vegetation evaporate into the air, and Rayleigh scattering from sunlight causes the haze to look blue to our eyes. Sunrise and sunset are popular times for spectacular views, but, if you're lucky, you might catch some God-beams after a summer shower. These photos were taken in August, 2015, and in May, 2016.

Gear Photos were shot with a Nikon D750 paired with a Zeiss Milvus 35 mm f/2.0, or were shot with a Nikon D70s paired with a Nikon 35 mm f/1.8, or were shot with a Nikon Coolpix A.















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