Dean M. Chriss
Smoky Mountain Sunrise
(Click image to enlarge)
The Cherokee considered these mountains to be a sacred place. They referred to
the area as “Shaconage” (Sha-Kon-O-Hey), which means "land of the blue smoke".
That blue "smoke" can be seen in the more distant mountains in the photograph
above. It is caused by volatile organic compounds that are given off by trees
and other plants. The white clouds rising from the forest in the foreground come
from a different source. As the air warms, moisture from a light rain the
previous evening and dew begins to evaporate. When weather conditions are right
the moisture forms low clouds that rise from the forest and rapidly dissipate.