In this morning shot captured in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, the granitic and metamorphic spires of the mountains almost glow golden in the early day sunlight. The U-Shaped valley at the center of this frame was one of many that hosted glaciers about 10-20,000 years ago – snowfall accumulated in the mountains, leading to streams of ice that flowed west towards the deserts in Eastern California. If you look closely you can spot some fractures in the rock and differences in weathering pattern that probably mark boundaries between the more rounded granitic rocks and the sharper spires that tend to be metamorphic.


Image credit: Loren Chipman