Watch: Spectacular clouds dance atop Mt. Rainier during sunrise

Photo: Meg McDonald / Wild Northwest Beauty Photography

Vashon photographer Meg McDonald with Wild Northwest Beauty Photography recently went out to capture the nighttime scene above snowy Mt. Rainier, but got a bonus instead as spectacular lenticular clouds appeared.

"This was a photographer’s dream time lapse of starlight and moonlight sparkling on fresh snow and a stunning sunrise lighting up Mount Rainier as those magical lenticular clouds blossomed and flowed across the mountaintop," McDonald told me.

It was a gorgeous sight, but presented some challenges:

"It wasn’t easy to process the thousands of images that created this video," she said. "Capturing the transition from darkness to daylight is very challenging, but the spectacular conditions made the extra effort worthwhile."

It's the latest in a trio of videos McDonald has put together racing the calendar as winter approached. In October, she took advantage of the waning clear skies to capture the beauty the nighttime moonlight can shine on the rugged landscape -- while the Galactic Core of the Milky Way Galaxy was still visible.

The Galactic Core disappeares in our skies in the late autumn and doesn't reappear until spring.

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