Last week you got pictures of the MLK Memorial, a butterfly, and a flame azalea. But no pictures of the Blue Ridge Parkway itself. What’s going on?

Just this: flowers and butterflies are easy. A little cropping, a little exposure correction, and you’re good to go. Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are another thing entirely. First, you have to sort through dozens of views to pick out the one or two that truly show off the mountains best. Then you need to composite two frames together. With grand vistas, it’s all but impossible to get a well-exposed picture of both the sky and the foreground at once, so instead you have to take two pictures with different exposures and then merge them together later. It’s not that hard, but it’s better done at home where I’ve got a fast computer with a big screen and plenty of time to muck around.

So I waited until I got home. And now I am. Home, that is. Which means that finally you get a picture of the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains themselves.

May 8, 2019 — Yadkin Valley Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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