First light in the United States


Any visitor to Acadia will surely spend time on top of Cadillac Mountain. It is after all, one of the most recognizable and iconic locations within this jewel of a national park. Whether you hike to the top via one of the many beautiful trails, or you drive there via the 3.5 mile Cadillac Summit Road, the views from this huge granite mound are truly spectacular. Compared to many of the huge peaks in the western United States, at 1,527 feet Cadillac might not seem all that impressive, but since it rises straight up from the Atlantic Ocean, you can’t help but admire it’s striking appearance.

Visitors familiar with this location will know that at certain times of the year, the summit of Cadillac claims to be the first place in the United States to see the sun rise, so not surprisingly, scores of people flock here before dawn during the summer months to witness the first light of the day from on high. I love exploring the endless possibilities for including foreground elements that are scattered all across the summit of Cadillac, and on this particular morning I “focused” on one small area on the north-facing slope of the mountain. The cool pre-dawn colors in the sky of the first two images were wonderful, and I especially liked how the granite on Cadillac seemed to absorb the light all around me. When the sun did crest over the horizon at 4:54 a.m., the landscape was bathed in a much warmer, more golden light… not a bad place to start the day!


28 thoughts on “First light in the United States

  1. Great morning photos, David! I love the blue colors contrasting the lovely warm sunlight in the first photos too. You live near so many wonderful natural treasures…..

    • David Patterson

      Thanks truels. I too loved the contrasting warm and cool colors. And yes… I am very fortunate to live in a state as beautiful as Maine.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Dave. Hope you have a great visit to Maine 🙂

      Me too sort of. A week from Saturday morning the family and I are off to Mount Desert Island for what I am sure will be two glorious weeks. Can’t wait.

  2. Beautiful, David…what a treasure to experience such a beautiful sight…even though it’s something you manage to do quite often. 🙂 Thank you for sharing…and have fun on your “two glorious weeks.” I’m sure we’ll see some of the by-product of that relaxing time when you get back….

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Scott. I am very lucky to live where I live, and yes, I am very excited to be spending two weeks in Acadia. The sun rises pretty early in the summer in Maine, so during those two weeks I’ll at least be able to sleep in until 3:30am 🙂

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Karen. You can’t go wrong on the top of Cadillac at sunrise. The views are amazing, and there are lots of opportunities for including interesting foreground elements.

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